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Minnesota had the 22nd fastest growing state economy in 2018

One thing about being an economist is that you get excited about weird stuff. Since January 1st, I’ve been looking forward to today like Christmas. Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its figures for Gross Domestic Product by State: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2018. I’m about as excited as when I got my toy A-Team van.

The figures showed that, in real terms, Minnesota’s economy grew by 2.2% in 2018, slightly up on the 2.1% growth in 2017. This lagged the national average of 2.9% growth for 2018. This, too, was up from the 2.2% growth recorded for the US economy in 2017.

Overall, our state ranked 22nd nationally for economic growth in 2018, as Figure 1 shows. This was down from a ranking of 14th last year.

Figure 1: Real GDP growth, 2018

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Last year, we wrote that Minnesota’s economic performance had been ‘unimpressive‘. In 2017, we described it as ‘lackluster‘. In 2016, it was ‘mediocre‘. Perhaps we are saying the same old thing over and over again, but the data keeps on giving us the same old story over and over again.

Sadly, these latest numbers confirm that we are going to have to revisit the thesaurus again this year, looking for yet another synonym of ‘not all that good’. My A-Team van was much less disappointing.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment. 

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