North Dakota leads nation in growth

2012-06-10T00:00:00Z North Dakota leads nation in growthBy JAN FALSTAD jfalstad@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

North Dakota topped the nation last year in rapid economic growth.

Oil production helped North Dakota’s gross domestic production jump 7.6 percent in 2011, dwarfing the U.S. average of 1.5 percent.

Forty-three states saw their economies grow last year.

Montana’s economy was flat, which put the state in 44th place. The zero percent growth rate was attributed in part to fewer government jobs and less manufacturing of nondurable goods. Those are products consumers use within three years, like clothing.

With zero growth, Montana at least didn’t lose ground and was able to hold on to the 3 percent gains it logged in 2010.

Wyoming wasn’t so fortunate.

The Cowboy State came in last among the 50 states for growth, according to a ranking by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Wyoming’s growth last year fell 1.2 percent, largely due to a slowdown in coal mining and construction, plus low prices for natural gas.

In 2010, Wyoming saw almost no change in growth. And in 2009, Wyoming saw a growth rate of 2.3 percent.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Jim Robinson, senior economist for Wyoming’s Economic Analysis Division

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