Tampa Bay's economy grew in 2010 for the first time in three years, but the rebound was anemic compared with other parts of the country and most other regions in Florida.
The region's economic output increased just 0.9 percent compared to a 2.5 percent growth for all 366 metro areas tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis in a report released Tuesday.
The region's gross domestic product, or GDP, had fallen 3.2 percent in 2008 and 2.2 percent in 2009.
Statewide, the bay area lagged behind as well, trailing growth posted in metros like Orlando (up 2.4 percent), Jacksonville (up 2.1 percent) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale (up 1.1 percent). Florida's economy overall grew 1.4 percent last year.
Overall, the bay area ranked as the 23rd largest metro area with an economic output of $113.7 billion ($102.9 billion when adjusted for inflation), but in terms of year-over-year growth, it ranked 259th last year.
In 2007, at the outset of the recession, the bay area's GDP was $114.1 billion.
Heading into 2011, Tampa Bay, like many other parts of the country, posted encouraging signs of job growth and sales activity.
A sharp slowdown this summer, however, has fueled speculation that we may be entering another recession.