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How Does the St. Louis Economy Really Compare to Its Peers?

In recent years, the St. Louis economy has been seen as lackluster. But if you look beyond the headline measures of economic performance, such as unemployment rates and GDP, St. Louis may be doing better than it appears. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently developed the Regional Price Parities (RPPs) price indexes that include cost of living differences across geographic areas. In "Living Standards in St. Louis and the Eighth Federal Reserve District: Let's Get Real," authors Cletus Coughlin, Charles Gascon, and Kevin Kliesen used these new tools to analyze the St. Louis MSA and found that, despite slow growth, St. Louis ranks in the top 6 MSAs based on real per capital personal income and in the top 16 percent based on real median household income. See the full essay for more information on other areas.