At the beginning of the decade of 2000, among the capitals of the Northeast, Fortaleza had the third largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP), being surpassed by Recife and Salvador. It was estimated that, in 2011, Fortaleza would have the largest GDP in the region, according to the nominal increase that had been occurring in recent years; But this happened in 2010, when the economy of the capital of Cear grew by more than 5 billion reais, reaching a GDP of R$37.1 billion and surpassing expectations. In 2012, the GDP of Fortaleza reached the value of 43.4 billion Reais, which consolidated the municipality as the richest in the Northeast region, the tenth of the country and the eighth among the capitals. In the same year, the value of taxes on products net of subsidies at current prices was R $6,612,822,000 and the municipality's GDP per capita was R$17.359,53. The city's booming economy is reflected in purchasing power, the country's eighth largest, with estimated consumption potential at 42 billion reais in 2014.
The main economic source of the municipality is centered in the tertiary sector, with its diversified segments of commerce and service rendering. Next, the secondary sector stands out, with the industrial complexes. In 2012, the percentage contribution of each sector to the municipal economy was 0.07%, 15.8% and 68.8% of the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, respectively. The wealth of the capital is largely due to activities coming from all over the metropolitan region, whose economy is the third strongest in the North and Northeast regions and whose population is almost four million. In 2012, the city had 69,605 units and 64,674 companies and active commercial establishments, in addition to 873,746 employees and 786,521 salaried employees. Wages, together with other types of remuneration, amounted to 17,103,562 reais and the average income of the municipality was 2.7 minimum wages.
Fortaleza has about 25 kilometres (16 mi) of urban beaches. From North to South, the urban beaches of Fortaleza are Iracema, Meireles, Mucuripe and Praia do Futuro. Each beach has its own peculiarities:
Iracema is the Bohemian beach, with bars and nightclubs;
Mucuripe is the place where jangadas can be found. Still used by fishermen to go into high seas, jangadas can be seen along the way during the afternoon and evenings, and returning from the sea in the morning; part of the catch of the day is sold in an old style fish market.