Whatcom's GDP rose 4.2 percent in 2012
Whatcom County’s gross domestic product grew 4.2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, well above the national average increase of 2.5 percent.
The data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis puts Whatcom’s GDP at about $9.89 billion, ranking it 187th highest among 381 metro areas.
Between 2011 and 2012, Whatcom County experienced the strongest growth in nondurable goods manufacturing, which includes oil refining and food processing. This area also experienced strong growth in financial activities and durable goods manufacturing (products that don’t wear out quickly), according to the data.
Whatcom County experienced GDP declines in natural resources/mining and information, a category that includes computer software.
Manufacturing has been a bright spot locally as well as across the U.S., said Hart Hodges, director of Western Washington University’s Center for Economics and Business Research. While GDP growth is a good sign, he is concerned about job growth in this area.