By the end of 2012, 300 of the nation’s 363 metro areas will experience real economic growth, according to a new economic report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors at their Summer Leadership meeting earlier this week. And that’s good news, because, as the report says, metro area economies are critical to the nation’s economic recovery and future health. U.S. metro areas also play a strong role in the global economy.

In order to sustain this growth, however, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is calling on federal and state governments to provide funding assistance for crucial infrastructure projects, particularly in the areas of transportation and education. “In this era of tight budgets in both Washington and our cities, we must make smart, strategic investments that further our goals to increase economic growth and job creation,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors Vice President, Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa, Arizona.

According to the report, based on research conducted by IHS Global Insight, two Texas metros – Austin and Houston – are expected to achieve real gross metropolitan product (GMP) growth over 3.0%. More than 110 metro areas – including Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver, and Boston – are projected to see 2.0% or more GMP growth.

To access the U.S. Conference of Mayors Metro Economies report, click here.

The need for infrastructure investment in order to compete in the global economy was also a common theme discussed by panelists at the Bloomberg State and Municipal Finance Conference earlier this summer. (See “Governing Smarter, Not Harder”)