Duluth is the only metropolitan statistical area in Minnesota to see its gross domestic product decline in 2015 and 2016. That’s the subject of a story by Greta Kaul, data reporter for MinnPost.
But the news isn’t nearly as dire as it might sound.
Duluth continues to see modest growth in tourism, and small businesses are opening left and right. As for the GDP, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development released third quarter statistics showing a recent boom in iron ore exports, which should help boost the Duluth metro numbers for 2017:
Ores, slag and ash exports grew 769 percent, fueled by major growth in Canada ($88 million, up from $1 million) and Japan ($48 million, up from $4 million). Iron ores account for most of these products.
About 11 percent of the Duluth metro’s GDP comes from mining, and it’s an erratic industry.
Just three years ago, Duluth touted its status as the GDP growth leader in the state, increasing nearly twice as fast as the national average from 2009 to 2013.
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