NYC economy continues to grow, according to Comptroller’s report
New York City’s economy continued its solid growth in 2014, outpacing the nation on many fronts despite a slowdown in the fourth quarter, according to the New York City Quarterly Economic Update released this month by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.
“While our economy lost momentum late in the year, most indicators are trending in the right direction for New York City,” Stringer said. “Job growth has been robust, unemployment is down and personal income tax revenues are at the highest level on record.”
The year 2014 was one of the best job-producing years for New York City on record, with 88,900 (2.6 percent) private-sector jobs added, although in the fourth quarter, those jobs dropped slightly on a seasonally adjusted basis. Real Gross City Product (GCP), a measure of the city’s total economic output, grew at an estimated 2.8 percent annual rate in 4Q14, a healthy but still weaker pace than the 4.2 percent registered in the previous quarter.
Despite this data, bright spots remained in the city’s fourth quarter performance:
- New York City’s unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) fell to 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), the lowest quarterly average rate in over six years. The New York City and the U.S. unemployment rates averaged 7.3 and 6.2 percent respectively, in 2014. Both rates were the lowest since 2008. Brooklyn’s unemployment rate was 6.9 percent, also the lowest since 2008.
- New York City personal income tax revenues rose 10.8 percent from the previous year to more than $2.3 billion in 4Q14, the highest fourth-quarter level on record. This reflects the city’s employment growth and possibly some cash-ins of previously awarded restricted stock bonuses.
- Price indicators for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens co-ops and condos continued to rise, although the number of sales declined. In Brooklyn specifically, the median sales price rose 2.6 percent, and the average sales price rose 9.9 percent.
- Hotel occupancy rates remained above 90 percent, with initial data suggesting that 4Q14 could see the highest fourth-quarter rates in the city’s history. The average daily hotel room cost $336 in October and November of 2014, up from $334 in the same period of 2013.
“The economic recovery continued to build in 2014 for New York City; a slower final quarter should be viewed in that context,” Stringer said. “As we head into 2015, we will continue to watch whether some of the wage gains we saw this past year will raise the paychecks of working New Yorkers.”
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