Both Washington and Oregon have outperformed the nation in GDP growth. But after a tough recession, Oregon's growth is stronger.
Forgive my annoying Business Insider-ish SEO headline, but I couldn’t resist. And there’s truth hiding inside it.
Every state in the Northwest came out of the recession with better real growth in gross domestic product than the national average. Idaho quickly slipped below it. And the past couple of years, declining oil prices and other factors slowed output growth in Alaska.
That left Washington and Oregon. We know the former’s story well here: an amazingly diversified economy that benefited from many of this slow-mo recovery’s strong points. Boeing is building big. Seattle, especially, is in a historic boom. Tech outfits are going strong. Connections to China help with trade and investment.
No surprise, then, that Washington output growth has consistently outperformed the nation.
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But as the chart below shows, the real Northwest star is Oregon. For 2014, its GDP growth was 3.6 percent adjusted for inflation, sixth best in the country.
“The biggest driver here, as always, are likely our tech manufacturers,” said Joshua Lehner, an economist with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. In other words, Silicon Forest and especially Intel, which made a big expansion.
He cautioned that the GDP measure tends to overstate Oregon’s economic strength. “I’d argue most businesses and people feel more like the red line, even as our state GDP measure was stronger.
Still, feeling like Washington isn’t too bad.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Instead prayers and unity