The snapshot of growth last year indicates the state economy was continuing to expand but hardly going gangbusters.
The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis released third-quarter gross domestic product growth for the states today. Washington posted 3.4 percent growth compared with the second quarter, respectable but a relatively modest boost compared with many states. We ranked No. 31. The number is adjusted for inflation.
Gross domestic product measures the value added by all goods and services industries. While hardly a definitive yardstick — it doesn’t tell about happiness or human well-being — it remains a gold standard.
U.S. output advanced 3.5 percent for the quarter. In the Northwest, Oregon and Idaho turned in 4.6 percent growth, while Alaska GDP declined 0.1 percent because of low oil prices. Nationally, the growth rate ranged from 7.1 percent in South Dakota to 0.7 percent in Oklahoma. Among states with comparable populations to Washington, Arizona grew by 2.8 percent and Massachusetts by 3.8 percent.
This is a snapshot and can be affected by many factors. It can be distorted, too, especially with small states. For example, does anyone think South Dakota’s economy is stronger than Washington’s? Here, the information sector grew strongly but manufacturing barely expanded at all, the latter probably a one-off distortion. On the other hand, Oregon was undeniably strong.
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Washington’s real GDP by industry totaled nearly $475 billion, a record high and 12th largest among the states. The state dug out of the Great Recession earlier than many and surpassed its pre-recession peak in 2012. U.S. output was $18.6 trillion. Stay tuned for the fourth quarter and annual report.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Wells Fargo big wheels
Might notice Seattle left
Will they get stage fright?