Recently released numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis confirm what many in Oregon had already guessed - that economic activity in Oregon cities is starting to pick up. The numbers show economic growth in Oregon's metro areas.

In the Bend/Redmond metropolitan area, for example, the combined value of all the goods and services produced increased by 2.9 percent last year after accounting for inflation. That's the largest year-over-year gross domestic product, or GDP, growth for the region since the recession.

Damon Runberg is the Central Oregon regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department.

He says that despite GDP gains, Central Oregon still hasn't fully recovered from the recession.

"And so I think that's something important to note, that even though we're seeing strong growth and we're recovering, we're not quite back to where we were," Runberg says.

Statewide, each of the eight metro areas tracked by the bureau showed GDP growth in 2012. The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area leads the pack with a GDP increase of just over 5 percent.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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