Research Briefing | Aug 23, 2022

Several but not all southern metros look very strong

Among large US metros, several southern ones are likely to out-perform over the 2022-26 period, including Dallas and Atlanta as well as several smaller ones, including Austin, Orlando, Raleigh, and Nashville. In contrast, Miami and Houston are middle-ranking performers, while New Orleans and especially Memphis look set to struggle.

What you will learn:

  • This broadly continues pre-pandemic patterns, with southern metros mostly performing well. As a result, in the 2015-19 period, the combined GDP growth of Texas plus nine other southern states comfortably outstripped that of the US. Most large southern metros out-performed, including the three majors of Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami (but not Houston).
  • Among the 50 largest US metros, Austin and Raleigh ranked third and fourth for GDP growth, behind only San Jose and San Francisco. Their 2015-19 success clearly reflected their strong tech sectors, which will continue. But professional services are also important, as they are in some other southern metros such as Jacksonville. This partly reflects the overlap between the sectors.
  • Dallas and Atlanta also have strong professional sectors, while financial services and healthcare are important to the former, and broadcasting, transport and warehousing to the latter. Dallas has reduced its dependency on the oil sector, which is currently holding back the Houston economy, despite high oil prices. Miami is very tied to the real estate sector.
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