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Bay Area economy growing nearly twice as fast as rest of U.S.

July 10, 2018

: sfchronicle – excerpt

Were it a country, the Bay Area’s economy would be larger than Saudi Arabia’s, getting rich from its residents’ minds rather than minerals pumped from the ground, according to a new report.

The Bay Area’s annual growth rate of 4.3 percent over the past three years was nearly double that of the U.S. as a whole, bringing the region’s gross domestic product to $748 billion, behind only 18 countries, according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a think tank backed by the local business group, and consulting firm McKinsey…

“Tech continues to thrive, but tech grows at the expense of older parts of the economy. Because of the region’s unwillingness to densify … every time a new Google worker moves in, an old economy worker moves out.”…

Census data showed that the Bay Area lost a net of 45,670 people to other places in the U.S. from July 2016 to July 2017. Those departures were offset by a gain of 58,156 people from abroad during the same time period…

People leaving the Bay Area and the state altogether were concentrated in lower-paying sectors like sales, transportation and food preparation, which meant they would be less affected by the state’s high tax rates, according to Beacon…

Dederal policies including trade tariffs and immigration restrictions also threaten the region’s future, said Weinberg, of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

“Trade and immigration policies are the things I’m most concerned about in their effects on the Bay Area,” Weinberg said. “To the extent that there continues to be a real chilling effect on immigration of all types and international cooperation — that’s really the biggest threat.”… (more)

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