Welcome the economy of Los Angeles and Orange counties to the trillion-dollar club.
The federal government’s recently released annual accounting of business output of U.S. metro areas shows the L.A.-O.C. region’s gross domestic product — a broad measure of the value of all business done in a geographic region — rose by $38 billion last year to $1.002 trillion.
Amid all the twists and turns the L.A.-O.C. economy has endured in recent years, it’s easy to forget just how big it is.
Having a 13-digit economy is a rarity. L.A.-O.C. is only the second U.S. metro area in this club: The New York City-New Jersey area had an output of $1.66 trillion last year. Plus, only three states and 15 nations have larger GDPs.
To put the local business bounty into proper perspective, ponder these data nuggets:
Regionally, last year’s expansion was like adding the entire economy of Little Rock, Ark., or Akron, Ohio.
Nationally, if L.A.-O.C. was its own state, its annual output would rank behind California, New York and Texas and just ahead of Florida.
Or globally, local GDP is on par with the national outputs of Mexico or Indonesia.
To the east, the GDP of Riverside and San Bernardino counties may seem modest at $149 billion in 2016. But the Inland Empire is the nation’s 23rd busiest business market, and its economy is roughly equal to the output of Nevada or Kansas or Hungary.
And to the south, San Diego County’s GDP last year was $215 billion, No. 17 nationwide. Or on the scale of South Carolina or Vietnam.
Add these five counties together and you have half of California’s $2.6 trillion economy.
Now, business size can matter. But “real” growth in gross domestic product — that’s after-inflation progress — is the true yardstick of economic performance. And we see around the region that 2016 was a year of cooling growth.
The L.A.-O.C’s real GDP grew 2.1 percent last year, and my trusty spreadsheet tells me that was pretty run-of-the-mill — ranking 27th…