States’ economies show modest growth
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the broadest measure of the nation’s economy, grew more slowly last year. GDP grew in 43 states and the District of Columbia in 2011 with a national average increase of 1.5 percent, according to an analysis of federal data by the Council of State Governments (CSG). That compared to a 3.1 percent average annual GDP increase for the states in 2010.
North Dakota posted the biggest year-over-year jump, with a 7.6 percent GDP increase over 2010. Other states experiencing big gains include Oregon, 4.7 percent increase, and West Virginia, 4.5 percent.
Seven states showed a drop in year-over-year GDP. Alabama, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and Wyoming each decreased by less than 0.78 percent.
States in CSG’s Western region showed the most overall GDP improvement in 2011, with average year-over-year growth at 1.9 percent. Oregon, Alaska, Utah, Washington and California all showed GDP increase above the national average of 1.5 percent.
The smallest overall GDP gains came in states in the Eastern region, which fell below the national average. While Massachusetts, 2.2 percent increase, and Connecticut, 2 percent, showed gains, GDP dropped in New Jersey and Maine. Maryland, Rhode Island and Vermont showed GDP increases below the national average.
Durable goods manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical services, and information services were the leading contributors to real GDP growth in 2011. Real estate, however, was a GDP loser in virtually every region.