Minnesota’s economic growth is below average

I submitted an op-ed to two of the state’s major opinion platforms last week correcting some of the egregiously false statements made recently about Minnesota’s economy. Both declined to run it, citing the upcoming election. The post below is an expansion of part of that op-ed.

On October 9, Gov. Walz tweeted:

But as I noted recently, the most recent data show that Minnesota’s economy isn’t expanding.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in the second quarter of 2022 – the last for which we have state level data – our state’s economy actually shrank, in real terms, at an annualized rate of 1.3%, faster than the rate for the United States generally – 0.6% – and faster than 29 other states and the District of Columbia. For both our state and the nation, this was the second successive quarter in which the economy shrank in real terms. Indeed, as Figure 1 shows, our state’s economy has fared worse in terms of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth than that of the United States generally in three of the last four quarters.

Figure 1: Percentage change in real GDP, annualized

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Figure 2 sets this in context. In the second quarter of 2022, the economy of the United States generally was 3.5% bigger than it was in the fourth quarter of 2019, the pre-COVID-19 peak. Minnesota’s economy, by contrast, was just 1.7% bigger, a performance better than just 13 out of 51 jurisdictions.

Figure 2: Percentage change in real GDP, 2019:Q4 to 2022:Q2

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

In our annual reports on Minnesota’s economy, we have consistently pointed out that our state has long suffered from below average economic growth. As we strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, that remains the case.