Austin still among fastest-growing U.S. economies

Austin's economy expanded by 5.3 percent in 2015, the second-fastest rate of any large metro in the U.S.

You don't have to drive far to find No. 1, either: San Antonio's economy expanded by 5.9 percent last year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Research, which released the latest numbers Sept. 30, Austin's economy had a gross domestic product of more than $119 billion in 2015, up from $113 billion in 2014.

Austin's economy was propelled by an expanding professional and business services industry, which grew by nearly 1.6 percent last year and contributed roughly $18 billion to the local economy.

San Antonio's GDP reached $108.8 billion last year, led by a 2.5 percent expansion in the regional mining and mineral extraction industries.

In current dollars, however, this is the slowest annual percentage rate that Austin's economy has expanded since 2009. Since the year 2000, Austin's GDP has grown every year except for 2009, when it shrank by 1.6 percent from $82.9 billion to $81.5 billion before rising 7.2 percent in 2010 to $87.4 billion.

Over the past 15 years, Austin's economy grew the fastest in 2006 when its GDP expanded by nearly 10 percent, rising from $68.1 billion in 2005 to $74.9 billion in 2006.