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Minnesota's economy is still growing – but slower than it had been


A new report from the federal number crunchers in Washington, D.C. show Minnesota's economy grew in 2014 – but not as fast as it had been.

The growth of Minnesota's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 measured in at about 1.4 percent, a study from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) says. That could indicate the state's economy is slowing down.

GDP is summed up by Investopedia as the total dollar value of all an economy's goods and services (say, the frozen turkeys that roll off the conveyor belt at the Jennie-O plant in Willmar).

Nationally, the GDP rose by 2.2 percent. The largest gain was North Dakota's 6.3 percent increase; the furthest drop was Alaska, whose GDP fell 1.3 percent.

Minnesota's 1.4 percent jump is about middle-of-the-pack compared to the rest of the country, but much less than what the state has enjoyed in recent years.

In 2012, the state's GDP grew by 3.5 percent, the biggest gain in about a decade.

What's causing it to slow down?

Losses in the state's agriculture, financial services and mining industries, the Star Tribune says. Problems on the Iron Range are no secret, with taconite mining layoffs being big news recently.

And there are population forces at play.

“The Upper Midwest is close to full-employment status and also has very slow population and labor force growth,” an economist told the Star Tribune. “This makes it harder to grow all that rapidly.”

A recent report suggested growth in the number of new residents has been on the slow side.

Meanwhile, our neighbors are also seeing shrinking in their respective GDPs – in 2012, the GDP in oil-booming North Dakota saw an astonishing 13.4 percent jump. Last year, that was cut virtually in half, to 6.3 percent, the BEA report indicates.

However, aside from North Dakota, Minnesota's GDP was still more promising than that of surrounding states. Wisconsin's GDP grew by 1 percent last year, South Dakota by 0.6 percent, and Iowa by 0.4 percent.

View this report for a closer look at Minnesota's GDP and information on per capita personal income in the state.

The National Picture

The BEA says the U.S. GDP grew by 2.2 percent in 2014, a jump over the 1.9 percent recorded the year before.

The report indicates that professional, scientific, and technical services (including accountants and architects, according to the Department of Commerce) were the largest contributors to that growth.

Meanwhile, the Bureau reports that agriculture, forestry and fishing were among the industries that saw declines in 2014.

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