MN Economy Grew 1.2% in ’11; U.S. Grew 1.5%

The state’s gross domestic product (GDP) totaled $244.9 billion last year; the 1.2 percent growth rate is less than half of the 3.9 percent increase that the state experienced in 2010.

Minnesota’s economy grew 1.2 percent in 2011, less than the 1.5 percent increase for the United States as a whole, according to statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The state’s gross domestic product (GDP)—the total value of all goods and services produced—totaled $244.9 billion last year, according to the BEA report. Minnesota’s 1.2 percent GDP growth is adjusted for inflation, and it ranks 23rd among states. By contrast, Minnesota’s GDP grew 3.9 percent in 2010.

Meanwhile, the United States’ GDP totaled $13.1 trillion in 2011, according to the BEA report. Like Minnesota, the nation’s 1.5 percent GDP growth rate last year also declined substantially compared to 2010, when it was 3.1 percent.

“Nobody wants to be growing at just 1.2 percent or even 1.5 percent,” Minnesota State Economist Tom Stinson told the Star Tribune. “We'd like to be growing 2.5 or 3 percent. This is nothing to cheer about.”

According to the Minneapolis newspaper, Wells Fargo Securities economists described Minnesota’s economic growth as showing “excruciatingly modest gains.”

The Star Tribune reported that two sectors were especially harmful to Minnesota’s 2011 gains: management of companies, and government. The state government shutdown last summer likely factored into the state's overall GDP, Stinson told the newspaper.

The GDP of the seven-state region that includes Minnesota increased 1 percent last year and 3.4 percent in 2010. The other states in the region are Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.

Last year, GDP growth slowed in every region but the far West, where the economy grew 2.1 percent—representing a slight uptick from 2 percent in 2010. The southwest region of the country grew the fastest at 2.7 percent.

Six state economies contracted last year: Maine, New Jersey, Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Hawaii. The growth rates in the BEA report are still subject to revision.

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