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WV economy shrunk in 2016, federal analysis says


The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia was one of seven states whose economic output fell last year, according to a federal report issued May 11.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said the state’s gross domestic product declined 0.9 of 1 percent last year when the effects of price changes are excluded. West Virginia was the only state east of the Mississippi River whose real GDP fell last year.

The other states that showed declines were: North Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Mining was the largest contributor to the decline in each of these states, according to the BEA.

West Virginia’s economy grew in the fourth quarter, but declines in the first nine months of the year led to the overall year-to-year decline, the BEA said.

Nationally, real GDP growth slowed to 1.5 percent in 2016 after increasing 2.6 percent in 2015, according to the BEA.

Information services; professional, scientific, and technical services; and health care and social assistance were the leading contributors to growth in 2016. In contrast, a decline in mining subtracted from growth nationally, the BEA said.

The fastest growing states were: Washington, Oregon and Utah, which grew 3.7 percent, 3.3 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. The largest contributor to growth in Washington and Utah was information services, while the largest contributor to growth in Oregon was durable-goods manufacturing.

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