Business Facilities’ 2015 Metro Rankings Report: Indiana Metros Are Exports Leaders

metro-ranking-exports-leadersIndiana metros dominated the top-10 list for Exports Leaders in Business Facilities’ 2015 Metro Rankings Report. Four Indiana locations made the top tier in this category, which is based on exports as a percentage of GDP.

Columbus, IN is the top-ranked Exports Leaders metro; Elkhart-Goshen, IN, Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN and Kokomo, IN came in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Columbus, IN tallied nearly $3 billion worth of exports in 2014, about 53.7 percent of its GDP; Elkhart-Goshen’s $5.4 billion in exports accounted for 36.1 percent of GDP; Lafayette-West Lafayette notched $3.4 billion or 32.7 percent of GDP; and Kokomo’s $1.4 billion in exports amounted to 32.4 percent of GDP.

According to an annual Brookings Institute study, exports powered growth during the recovery from the Great Recession, with 86 of the 100 largest U.S. metros surpassing pre-recession export levels in 2014. However, imports and domestic trade began outpacing exports last year, with the overall exports share of GDP slipping from 11.4 percent to 11.3 percent. According to the Institute, about a third of the top U.S. metros experienced declines in exports volume.

“While a strong U.S. dollar may act as a drag on exports, leading locations are compensating for this by aggressively pursuing overseas markets for their goods,” said BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. “The smartest locations are touting their exports at the same time they’re making a pitch for foreign direct investment.”

San Francisco is the top-ranked metro in BF’s Top 10 Cities for Venture Capital, pulling in $15 billion in VC funds, more than twice the amount netted by second-place San Jose, CA. Boston, New York and Los Angeles also earned a place in the top five for recipients of venture capital. San Francisco also moved into second place on BF’s annual ranking of Top Financial Centers, second only to the nation’s financial capital, New York.

Memphis, TN, home to FedEx’s global shipping hub, has retained its crown in BF’s Logistics Leaders (Air Cargo) category. Memphis was again followed by Anchorage, AK and third-place Louisville, KY, the global hub for UPS.

Click here to view the complete 2015 BF Rankings Report, including state, metro and international results.