Raleigh is outpacing Durham in GDP growth the last five years, but Durham saw strong growth since 2012. Raleigh racked up a whooping 26 percent GDP growth to $72 million from 2009 to 2014, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). But Durham has done particularly well the last three years.

The Durham-Chapel Hill metro area’s GDP increased by only 10 percent in the same period. Durham’s GDP lost ground from 2009 to 2012 and its gains all came in the last three years. Downtown Durham shows the growth with new stores, hotels, and apartment buildings popping up and a lively street life evenings and weekends.

In fact, both Raleigh and Durham grew at the same rate from 2012 to 2014 – 11 percent. That suggests that barring some economic downturn, Durham could match Raleigh’s blistering pace over the next five years.

Professional and business services led the economic growth in both metros, as it does nationally. “Professional and business services contributed 0.61 percentage point to U.S. metropolitan area real GDP growth in 2014. This industry contributed to growth in 314 of the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas. Growth in this industry accounted for more than half of real GDP growth in 49 metropolitan areas, and contributed more than one percentage point to growth in 28 metropolitan areas,” the BEA reports.

Non-durable goods manufacturing was second in Durham, followed by Information. Nondurable goods manufacturing actually rose 4.2 percent nationally in 2014 compared to a measly 1.1 percent in 2013. The rise contributed to growth in 41 states.

The American Underground’s presence, both at its original American Tobacco campus and its downtown Durham incubator, has had a noticeable effect on the increasing number of entrepreneurial startups, many of them on the leading edge of the digital economy.

On the web: The Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP by state: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/gsp_newsrelease.htm

GDP by Metro area: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_metro/gdp_metro_newsrelease.htm