2 Louisiana metro areas grow fast in 2015, 2 shrink fast
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana's eight metropolitan areas included two of the nation's fastest growing economies and two of its fastest shrinking in 2015.
Lake Charles' economy grew 8.3 percent, third fastest in the nation according to numbers released Tuesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. That growth was boosted by an increase in nondurable goods manufacturing, tied to oil and chemical refining. Baton Rouge grew 5.4 percent, 17th fastest nationwide, also boosted by nondurable goods, but even more by finance, insurance, real estate and leasing.
Houma-Thibodaux had the nation's second-worst economy, shrinking 7.8 percent as the oil bust cut into white-collar sectors, transportation, utilities and construction. The Lafayette-area economy was the nation's fifth-worst, shrinking 3.8 percent.
Gross domestic product seeks to measure all economic output of an area.