New Castle economic growth slid during decade but surged in neighboring Cecil County

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Cecil County posted the second-fastest economic growth in the Mideast region that includes New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

Cecil, which is adjacent to New Castle County, posted an 11.3 percent growth, the second-fastest in the region and the fasted among mid-sized counties.

The news was not good for neighboring New Castle, which posted negative growth in its GDP (the value of goods and services). Kent and Sussex counties saw little growth in GDP when compared to Cecil.

The new federal Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics calculated GDP and how much the inflation-adjusted GDP grew or decreased from the previous year. The figures ran from 2001 through 2018.

New York City’s Bronx area led the largest counties in growthwith a 7.2 percent figure. The leading contributor was government and government enterprises.

Snyder County, PA., was the fastest-growing county economy in the Mideast region, at 11.6 percent. Utilities led contributors to this small county’s GDP growth.

Utilities were also the leading contributor to economic growth in both Snyder and Cecil counties, which ranked one and two in the region.

Both counties felt the positive impact from the construction of massive natural gas-fired power plants, with price tags running three-quarters of a billion dollars each. Gas-fired power plants typically employ only a few dozen people but aid the economy with taxes and fees that go to governmental units.

Cecil has also seen an influx of distribution center jobs in the western part of the county. The northeast Maryland county has also seen a steady decline in its unemployment rate, which at one time was one of the highest in the state.

Cecil also modernized its government, moving to home rule, rather than having major pieces of county-specific legislation going through the Maryland legislature.

The county ended up with a $7.5 million surplus for the fiscal year, the Cecil Whig (paywall reported.

The Bronx, in New York City, led large counties in the region, with 7.2 percent growth. The leading contributor was government and government enterprises.

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