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Study: Atlanta notched second-highest boom rate among big-city economies

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IT sector dominated 2016 growth in Atlanta, per the Bureau of Economic Analysis. A good sign for fetching Amazon?

A photo of cranes building towers in Midtown Atlanta.
A typical scene from Midtown last winter.
Curbed Atlanta

City, state, and business leaders are compiling a Herculean pitch reminiscent of the Atlanta Olympics to lure Amazon’s HQ2 to town, and a new analysis of the city’s current economy certainly shouldn’t hurt those efforts.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis—the official source of macroeconomic tabulation across the country—Atlanta notched the second-fastest growing economy among the top 10 U.S. metro areas last year.

What’s more, the IT sector in the Atlanta region was particularly red-hot (unlike, say, natural resources), the bureau found.

Of the country’s 10 largest metro economies, only San Francisco had a leg up on the ATL in 2016 in terms of growth, according to the study.

Atlanta’s information technology sector led the way by contributing almost a full percentage point to total GDP growth. Other hotspots included the insurance, finance, real estate (of course) sectors, in addition to the region’s growing utilities, transportation, professional and business services fields.

Based on the data, the moving specialists at SpareFoot compiled these interactive charts, which are fun to play with. (And FYI, per the bureau, the real GDP decline in metro Houston was caused by a dip in natural resources and mining).

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This one suggests that all the talk about Silicon Valley of the South isn’t just hot air:

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And per the study, Atlanta squeezed into the country’s top 10 in terms of GDP—falling, unfortunately, just short of Boston again: