The Gross Domestic Product of the Rockford metropolitan area grew 1.7 percent to $14.8 billion in 2016, according to stats released in September by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Rockford was one of 267 metro areas out of 382 that experienced an expanding economy. The GDP of 382 metropolitan areas though as a whole grew by 3.2 percent.
The GDP numbers in 2017 are unlikely to be much better since a large chunk of Rockford’s manufacturing economy is tied to the Fiat-Chrysler manufacturing plant and the plant was idle for much of the year as it was retooled to build the Jeep Cherokee.
Even though 2016’s growth was sluggish, there was a positive development in that Rockford’s economy continues to become more diverse. While manufacturing remains the area’s backbone, a look at the Rockford economy in 2001 and 2016 shows how other industries are growing, perhaps making the area less recession-prone in coming economic cycles. Another positive development is that Rockford’s dependence on government as a part of our economy finally declined from 2011 to 2016.
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis