AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin area is expected to have the second-fastest growing economy in the U.S. in 2022, trailing only San Francisco.

Central Texas is projected to see economic growth of 4.3% this year, according to a new report from the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. After San Francisco and Austin, Seattle, Raleigh and Dallas round out the top five in terms of what the report calls GDP growth but others call GMP growth — that is, gross domestic product or gross metropolitan product. In either case, it translates to the value of all goods and services sold in a metro area for a specific year.

What does 4.3% growth mean?

Prior to the Covid pandemic, Austin leaders were impressed by the metro averaging about 3% GDP growth annually. A 4.3% rate for 2022 means the Austin economy is humming louder than what many remember as the boom time that yielded a lot of prosperity but also a lot of growing pains. But 4.3% wouldn’t be our modern high. More on that later.

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