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Indiana Metro Economies Rank Among Fastest Growing In U.S.

Several Indiana cities’ economies are among the fastest growing in the U.S., according to data released this week from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The Elkhart-Goshen and Columbus metro areas were two of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in 2012, with overall real GDP growth of 11.4 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively.

The map below shows GDP growth for each of the 10 metro areas surveyed.

One of the main industries contributing to the economic growth was the durable-goods manufacturing sector.

The industry accounted for more than 85 percent of Columbus’ GDP increase.

Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Frey says that is having a direct impact on people’s lives.

“Our community is building homes, and selling them rapidly. Businesses are hiring,” she says. “Workplaces are humming. The city is just thriving.”

Several manufacturers including the supply chain company Phoenix Group and auto-parts manufacturer NTN Driveshaft announced plans to create new jobs last year, and Frey says she expects the momentum to continue.

“We learned that of those we sampled, and it is about a third of our larger employers, a $150 million in planned expansions were in the works for the next three years. So the news for 2012 was fantastic, but the news for 2013, 2014, and 2015 looks equally bright, ” she says.

But Frey adds that local economies could be growing even more. She says companies are having a hard time filling some of their jobs because they cannot find qualified workers.

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