The east coast of Florida, behind the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area, has a sun-kissed grip on the top spot for GDP in Florida, and is one of the top 12 nationally.
But the west coast of the state is more than a bridesmaid.
Led by a resurgence in Tampa, the west coast of the state has five of the top nine MSAs in terms of GDP ranking statewide, according to federal data analyzed by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. The Tampa economy, the report adds, is growing 3.4% year-over-year.
Four industries in particular have boosted Tampa, and have also outpaced Florida and the nation. Those sectors include:
• Finance and insurance, up 9% from 2016;
• Real estate, rental and leasing, up 7.4% from 2016;
• Education and health services, up 6% from 2016;
• Manufacturing, up 4.3% from 2016.
The Tampa GDP energy is another jolt to Florida’s overall growth: the state itself is on a stellar GDP track, surpassing $1 trillion in the most recent fiscal year — a new milestone.
In comparison terms, that makes the Florida economy the No. 17 largest in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Argentina, according to the Florida Chamber Foundation. At that rate, the Sunshine State, say chamber officials, adds $2.74 billion each day to the state’s GDP.