GDP history of the United States through 2016 image via wikipedia user Wikideas1

published on March 31, 2020 - 12:15 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno County stands to see an economic loss of $2.2 billion in the virus-stricken second quarter of the year, equaling a 17.7% decline in GDP.

On a more human level, that’s a loss of $6,700 in GDP for each Fresno County household.

That’s the forecast from Massachusetts-based data science firm StratoDem Analytics, which generates geographic market intelligence and forecasting used by real estate investors.

The majority of US counties will likely see a 15-20% drop in Q2 GDP, according to the county-level GDP forecast. StratoDem Analytics’ average GDP loss forecast of 18.1% is a “consensus estimate” of forecasts from financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, which StratoDem Analytics notes range “widely.”

The forecast found the US counties that will see the greatest hits will have economies driven either by tourism or cyclical manufacturing – or “sectors that produce things we can live without when money is tight,” according to investopedia.com.

To give some scale, the nation’s largest county of Los Angeles will likely see an estimated loss of $38 billion of economic activity in Q2, or 18.7%. With nearby casinos shuttered, Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas) may see at least $7.9 billion in economic loss (-25.6%). On the cyclical manufacturing side, Macomb County, Michigan (the Detroit metro area) is expected to see an economic loss around $3.1 billion.

“To put this on a more human scale, the average household in New London County (CT) and Oakland County (MI) will likely generate approximately $13,000 less economic output (GDP per household) in Q2, primarily due to lower levels of employment,” according to the forecast. “Counties that generate higher levels of economic output will see even bigger drops, such as the average household in New York County (Manhattan) will likely generate approximately $25,200 less economic output in Q2.”

Some counties will be better shielded from the worst economic impacts, according to the forecast. For example, the following counties will likely average around $6,000 in lost household GDP, but for different reasons: Albany County, NY, “due to state government dominating the Albany economy; Bexar County, TX, as 1 in 8 residents is tied to the nation’s largest joint military base there; and Utah County, UT, which has seen strong economic growth attributed to the National Security Agency data center north of Provo.


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