Lafayette’s lumbering economy is showing the stark effects of low oil prices, producing the fifth-worst economic growth in the United States in 2015, according to numbers released Tuesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report says Lafayette’s economy shrank 3.8 percent last year. Flip that percentage and you get the Houma-Thibodaux metro area, which shrank 8.3 percent — the second-worst in the nation. Both Lafayette and Houma-Thibodaux are dependent on the oil patch for fueling their economies.
The news wasn’t entirely bad for the Pelican State, however. Lake Charles’s economy grew 8.3 percent, third-best in the nation. Baton Rouge enjoyed the 17th-fastest growth at 5.4. Both economies were bolstered by an increase in nondurable goods manufacturing.
More from the AP:
Monroe and New Orleans posted above-average growth, expanding 2.8 and 2.6 percent, respectively. New Orleans was also boosted by nondurable manufacturing, while Monroe saw a big expansion in the computer-driven information sector.
Shreveport-Bossier City was nearly flat, growing 0.2 percent, while Alexandria saw its economy shrink 1.6, also one of the 50 worst performances nationwide.
The nation’s 382 metro areas grew 2.5 percent, on average, in 2015.
Gross domestic product seeks to measure all economic output of an area.