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Lehigh Valley among nation’s top 50 manufacturing markets

By: Melina Druga, Pennsylvania Business Report

Lehigh Valley ranks 49th out of 384 metro regions in the United States for manufacturing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economic reporting arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and 65th out of 384 for economic activity.

In 2020, economic output from Lehigh Valley manufacturers reached $7.9 billion, and gross domestic product (GDP) was $42.9 billion. This was down from $44.2 billion in 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the nondurable goods sector did grow in 2020.

This makes Lehigh Valley’s GDP larger than that of Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.

If the Lehigh Valley were a country, it would have the 88th largest economy in the world, according to the World Bank’s analysis of 2020 GDP data.

The region’s largest sectors are finance, insurance, and real estate; manufacturing; education and health care; and professional and business services.

“The Lehigh Valley economic output has been on a steady rise the last five years,” Don Cunningham, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp president and CEO, said. “While that is slightly down due to the pandemic, the region’s manufacturing sector delivered, becoming even more important during a time when the U.S. needed goods produced here.”

The Bureau of Economic Analysis adjusts its GDP figures annually.


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