In the worst year of the recession, when the size of U.S. cities' economies fell by $2 trillion, the Hartford-area economy was one of only 8 in the top 50 that grew.
Hartford's gross domestic product — the combination of the salaries earned here, the products sold from here, and the investments in infrastructure made here — went from $78.7 billion in 2008 to $79.4 billion in 2009, a gain of $678 million.
For the first time in 10 years, the size of the Hartford economy overtook the size of the Fairfield County economy. Hartford was ranked 36th, and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area was ranked 37th. The previous year, Bridgeport had been 35th, and Hartford had been 40th.
Fairfield County's GDP fell by $2.3 billion in 2009.
But the strength of Hartford's growth pales compared to the region just above it in the rankings, the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. That region's output grew by $1.3 billion in 2009.
Although 60 to 70 percent of a region's GDP is the salaries paid to the workers who live there, this measure diverged dramatically from employment trends that year. Employment fell swiftly in Connecticut in 2009.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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