Atlanta ranks as one of the world’s worst economic performers, according to a
new study by the Brookings Institution of the world's largest metropolitan
areas, down among the Euro laggards in Greece, Spain and Ireland.
Atlanta’s economy – primarily its employment and income gains over the last
year – were so anemic that the city came in at No. 189 in the think tank’s
list of top 200 global performers. Atlanta shares a particularly déclassé
neighborhood filled with the likes of Richmond (No. 191), Madrid (195) and
Still, Brookings discovered that “the most rapidly growing metropolitan
economies lie outside the U.S. and Western Europe” in its report released
Wednesday. The 200 cities represent 14 percent of the world’s population,
but half its economy.
“Large, mature metro economies like Tokyo, New York, and London still have a
lot of firepower, but high-performance metros like Shanghai, Istanbul, and
Santiago continued to close the gap last year,” said Emilia Istrate, a
senior research analyst at Brookings. “To succeed, slower-growing metro
areas must strengthen their relationships with these rising metro markets.”
Metropolitan areas specializing in commodities, manufacturing and financial
services performed best between 2010 and 2011. Cities heavily reliant on
construction, government, education and health care, like Atlanta, did
poorly, according to the Washington nonprofit.
“A network of trading metros across the globe, particularly in developing
Asian, Latin American, and Eastern European nations, is setting the pace in
an uneven recovery,” said Brookings’ Alan Berube, an author of the Global
Atlanta’s regional competitors performed better, including Nashville (No. 89),
Charlotte (145), Birmingham (175).
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