Columbia Called the Fastest Growing Economy in Mo

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COLUMBIA - According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Columbia has the fastest growing economy in the entire state of Missouri. This is based off of GDP which measures the total amount of all goods and services produced in an area.

Out of 381 metropolitan areas in the United States, Columbia is ranked as 97th beating out larger cities such as Kansas City and St. Louis. Kansas City was ranked 122nd, while St. Louis was ranked even lower at 186.

With Columbia as the fastest growing economy in the entire state, some said it can only help create more jobs.

Matt McCormick, President of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce said, "Usually it means things are going better, we are selling more things, more business, and more transactions are taking place. With that, more transactions businesses are able to grow, and as they are able to grow they start opening up more positions, more positions create more jobs."

Even the owner of the local downtown business Sparkys Ice Cream, Scott Southwick, said he has seen an increase in economic growth.

"Our business has increased every year we've been open of the 10 years," Southwick said. "This year seemed even better."

Columbia's GDP rose 4.8 percent from 2011 to 2012, which helps create more opportunities in the area.

"It opens up a lot of possibilities for the public and for the people that live here in Columbia," McCormick said.

Columbia's economy also surpassed $7 billion in its economic output last year.