Washington ranks fourth in GDP growth in 2012


Washington state was near the top when it came to growth in gross domestic product last year, according to a new federal report.

GDP in Washington grew 3.6 percent in 2012, ranking it fourth highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Washington posted significant increases in several sectors, including durable goods manufacturing, high-tech and retail trade. It was the biggest jump in recent years in Washington state, which posted a 2 percent increase in 2011 and a 2.3 percent rise in 2010.

Across the U.S., real GDP by state grew 2.5 percent in 2012. Durable goods manufacturing, which would include products such as cars and planes, was the largest contributor to GDP growth, according to the report.

North Dakota had the biggest jump in GDP last year, growing at 13.4 percent, while Texas was second at 4.8 percent and Oregon third at 3.9 percent. Mining and oil extraction was a big factor in North Dakota's number.

After eight consecutive years of decline, construction bounced back across the U.S. in 2012, posting a 3.2 percent increase.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting subtracted from real GDP growth in 2012, according to the report. This hurt states such as South Dakota, which experienced 0.2 percent overall GDP growth. Maine was at the bottom of the list, having lost 0.1 percent of GDP between 2011 and 2012.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read his business blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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