KC's economy is growing, just not as fast enough

November 14, 2019 - 6:05 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new report shows that Kansas City's economy is growing at a slower pace than 30 similarly-sized metropolitan areas in the United States, such as Nashville, Portland and Columbus.

Before the Great Recession, Kansas City's growth outpaced those cities, but since the recession came to an end, it has lagged behind. 

Jeff Pinkerton, an economist with the Mid-America Regional Council, told KMBZ those cities have carved out niche markets, something Kansas City has not been as successful at replicating. 

"You can kind of consider us running a marathon and maintaining a pretty good pace," Pinkerton said. "But then you realize you're falling further and further behind, because your competition is running at a faster pace."

The data isn't all doom and gloom, though. The 2019 forecast report from the Council projects Kansas City will grow at a faster pace in the coming fiscal year. That's down to all the development going on downtown...and a huge project north of the river. 

"We do have a lot of momentum with a lot of construction projects going on, with KCI not the least of those," Pinkerton added. "That will add a lot to our economy, and we think see it grow a little faster."

Pinkerton says that the last time Kansas City's economy really picked up steam was just as the Housing bubble burst in 2007...which sent the nation tumbling into a recession. He hopes that's not the case this time, but it's possible the next recession could be just around the corner. 

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