The Center for Strategic Economic Research (CSER) developed the Prosperity Index in 2005 to provide business and community leaders in the Sacramento Region a valuable tool to measure regional economic prosperity and track its performance against competitors in order to evaluate the competition, identify opportunities for improvement, and ultimately impact change in the Region. Along with the national average, 12 competitor regions were chosen as benchmarks for this analysis based on feedback from economic development organizations regarding metropolitan areas that often compete with the Region for business location and expansion projects. CSER updates the Prosperity Index and all related elements annually. The Economy element (previously referred to as the Business component) is updated quarterly through SACTO's Quarterly Economic Report in order to allow for more frequent evaluations of the local business climate.
The Sacramento Region placed seventh on the 2013 PROSPERITY INDEX with an overall score of 8.3 out of a possible 10. Although the components of the Index have changed over time, this ties for the highest rank the Region has received since the measure was created (Sacramento also placed seventh on the 2008 version). The Region demonstrated strong performance on both the Sustainability and Residents elements, but its moderate score on the Livability element and weak score on the Economy element counterbalanced these strengths, placing Sacramento in the middle of the pack in the overall score. Sacramento ranked above the national average as well as three of the five other measured California regionsLos Angeles, the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties), and Stockton. All in all, the Sacramento Region presents above average economic prosperity and maintains a mid-range competitive position relative to the regions it competes with for business location and expansion projects. Strengths in Sacramentos education and clean energy measures stand out while the relatively slow pace of economic recovery is leading the most pronounced weaknesses.
Third Quarter 2013 Economic Performance Update
The Sacramento Region moved up one position from last place last year to 13th with a score of 3.9 out of a possible 10 on the 2013 Economy element. Although Sacramento did see a slight improvement, the Region is seeing relatively weak economic conditions with a lagging recovery and continued negative effects of the recession. Only Stockton, which is seeing similar challenges, ranked below Sacramento this year. Sacramento showed improvement over the previous year in all of its indicators scores except for Establishment Growth; however, compared to its primary competitor regions, it still presents a weak competitive position in most measures of overall economic conditions.