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Dave Olson, Published June 06 2013

ND leads nation in economic growth

BISMARCK – For the third straight year, North Dakota’s economy has outpaced all other states, a report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows.

North Dakota’s gross domestic product, which measures total economic production, increased to $38.7 billion in 2012, a 13.4 percent jump from 2011, the report stated.

Texas had the second-largest jump, with a growth rate of 4.8 percent.

The country’s average GDP growth rate was 2.5 percent in 2012.

“Our strong business climate, North Dakota’s skilled and dedicated workforce and the innovation created by the state’s small businesses continue to power our economic growth,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement.

“Moving forward, we will continue to support economic growth through low taxes, a sensible and effective regulatory environment and a state government that is responsive to the needs of business and job development,” he said.

Andy Peterson, president and CEO of the Greater North Dakota Chamber, echoed the governor, calling North Dakota’s growth rate phenomenal.

“We’re amazed that China will expand at 7 percent, but here is a state that’s expanding at 13.4 percent,” Peterson said. “That gives a little perspective on the growth rate.”

The BEA report states that North Dakota’s economy has averaged an annual growth rate of 7.52 percent since 2000, which compares to the national average of 3.9 percent,

Other details of the report:

E North Dakota created 102,100 new, nonfarm jobs since 2000.

E The state leads the nation in per-capita personal income growth. North Dakota’s 2012 per-capita personal income of $51,893 is double what it was in 2000.

E North Dakota’s 2012 exports totaled $4.28 billion, an increase of about 26 percent over 2011.

While vigorous growth can bring with it problems, Peterson said North Dakota has a good regulatory system “that has a handle on that and watches that.”

He said it is difficult to predict what the future may bring, especially with the economy. Given all that North Dakota has going for it, he expects impressive growth numbers to continue.

Top states

List of states with the strongest percentage growth of GDP between 2011 and 2012:

• North Dakota, 13.4 percent

• Texas, 4.8 percent

• Oregon, 3.9 percent

• Washington, 3.6 percent

• California, 3.5 percent

• Minnesota, 3.5 percent

• Utah, 3.4 percent

• Indiana, 3.3 percent

• West Virginia, 3.3 percent

• Tennessee, 3.3 percent

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555