Jennifer Edwards Baker reports:
Growth in population, jobs, trade and economic output in the nation’s cities will dramatically increase congestion unless the U.S. commits to greater transportation investments over the next decade, according to a new report prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Released this morning, the report provides 2011 output numbers for the nation’s 363 metro areas in addition to the 2012 economic outlook.
“Dramatic gains in international trade, which is concentrated in metros, will also require substantial investments in metro area ports and the surrounding surface infrastructure,” concludes the 17-page report, prepared by IHS Global Insights.
“It is absolutely essential that infrastructure investment is made, as it represents a critical component of the nation’s future prosperity and international competitiveness. If the nation fails to dramatically increase its investment in transportation infrastructure, it will see congestion and its cost on families, commuters and businesses skyrocket, potentially doubling over the next decade alone.”
From Middletown to Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana, $101.6 billion was generated in economic output in 2011, more than the state of Arkansas – ranking the metro region 30th among 363 metropolitan areas, just behind the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area, which ranked 27th and generated $106 billion in economic output in 2011, the report states.
Our region, however, ranked low, 252th, in the average annual growth rate of economic output from 2008 to 2012. That’s still better than Cleveland’s ranking, which was 296th.
The report comes just days after the State Budget Crisis Task Force warned of prolonged fiscal problems for states, many that have cut infrastructure spending.