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September 2013

Washington No.4

Among Fastest Growing State Economies

NWREporter, September 2013

Washington is outpacing most states on growing its economy, thanks in part to international trade.

Using figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a researcher at a federal policy organization ranked Washington 4th among states with the fastest-growing economies.  North Dakota tops the list, followed by Texas and Oregon.

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.5 percent in 2012, up from 1.6 percent in 2011. By comparison, Washington's GDP growth for 2012 was 3.6 percent.

"Washington has made considerable efforts to become a major exporter," noted Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This has allowed the state to become less dependent on U.S. consumers and companies for business, and to "be nimble enough to take products to where the growth is," he remarked.

In addition to exports, Washington's information sector contributed nearly one-third of its GDP growth in 2012, the most of any state. The sector accounted for 9 percent of GDP in 2012, also the most of any state. However, information sector employment has been flat in recent years, with no employment growth recorded in 2012.

Robust grown in Texas and North Dakota was attributed in large part to energy production.

On both federal and state levels, the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities conducts research and analysis on budget and tax policies, and works on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.