Macau, a former Portuguese colony that is now a special district of China, was the top performer among global metros. Macau, an island of 567,000, draws heavily on its role as one of the world's top gambling destinations. Large metros in China claimed 13 of the top 20 spots in the report.
Brookings' analysis found the fastest-growing metro economies were in developing countries in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The slowest-growing metros were in developed countries in North America and Western Europe.
The report said national and local factors influence metro economic growth. In the short term, the previous year's economic measures and industry performance affect growth. Long-term growth in the standard of living depends on national factors, per capita GDP and metro-specific factors such as industry specialization and educational attainment, Brookings said.
“2012 also highlighted the interdependence among developed and developing metro areas, with macroeconomic shocks traveling quickly through financial and trade channels and through extended global supply chains,” Istrate said. “Metro areas cannot build their way to prosperity on their own; they must work with national and state governments and other metro areas, near home and abroad, to establish their ‘collaborative advantage' and secure future growth.”