Report: All states but Alaska grew last year


McClatchy Washington Bureau

Every state except Alaska posted economic growth in 2013, with the fastest-growing states tending to have more manufacturing of soft goods and a real-estate uptick, the Commerce Department said in a report released Wednesday.

The government releases economic-growth data on a quarterly basis, but the Bureau of Economic Analysis also releases an annual look back at growth state-by-state for the prior year. Wednesday’s report showed that manufacture of non-durable goods_ items that last for less than three years_ was the biggest contributor to state-level economic growth.

Nondurable-goods manufacture increased 5.3 percent on the state level last year, the BEA said, after a decline of 0.5 percent in 2012. It was the leading contributor to growth in three of the eight regions of the nation BEA studies.

Real estate, rental and leasing also helped power state-level economic growth. The category grew by 1.6 percent across states last year, down from 2.2 percent the year prior. Real estate contributed to growth in all eight BEA regions last year.

Alaska was the only state to post a contraction in growth in 2013, at minus 2.5 percent. The BEA said that was mostly due to a drop off in mining, which resulted in reduced output from the state’s oil-rich North Slope.

If there’s any doubt that a reduction in government spending weighs against growth, 39 states and the District of Columbia saw lower growth because of reduced contributions from government activity. Two states_ Louisiana and Georgia_ saw nearly half a percentage point, or 0.41 percent, shaved off of their growth rate because of reduced revenue from the government sector.

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