Louisville was named a “boomtown” in a recent economic report. | Courtesy Resilient Louisville

Louisville is one of five U.S. cities to be named a “boomtown” according to the Yelp Economic Average, which tracks U.S. economies in top metro areas.

The other four cities were Milwaukee, Honolulu, Portland, Maine, and Memphis, which, along with Louisville, exhibited the country’s strongest combination of business growth and consumer demand, according to the report.

Key reasons for the growth, even as the study found the overall U.S. economy slowed during the second quarter, focus on real estate business and development.

The latest report shows that the five boomtowns are fastest-growing metros since Yelp first began tracking local business fortunes in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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The national Yelp Economic Average was down by 0.2% from the first quarter of 2019 to 99.2, reversing course on a brief recovery, Yelp said. Its average grew in 2017, but is now down 2% from its peak and has been below its baseline level of 100 for the last three quarters.

The average measures economic strength and growth using two major factors: business survival and consumer interest. The opening of new businesses and an increase in consumer engagement both boost the Yelp Economic Average.

chartThe report showed Louisville is being just above average in real estate services and real estate law activity, even though the agent count was right around the national average. Louisville showed the fifth-largest increase in its total Yelp Economic Average, up 5.8%. Top growth categories included such industries as life coach and junk hauling.

Conversely, some of the most sluggish markets include wealthier metros like San Francisco, San Jose and Portland, Ore.

“The U.S. economy is setting new records every month for its longest ever recession-free streak, but Yelp data about the Main Street local economy may be showing warning signs,” said Carl Bialik, Yelp’s data science editor. “Currently below 2017, the Yelp Economic Average shows a cooling brick-and-mortar economy across the U.S. that’s signaling a potential slowdown in consumer demand and business growth.”

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]