Numbers show Minnesota's economic growth leaving Wisc. in the dust

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With 3.5 percent growth in its GDP last year, Minnesota ranks as one of the half-dozen fastest growing economies among the states.

The state Department of Employment and Economic Development touted that figure Monday, noting that it reflects growth in manufacturing, construction, mining, and agriculture among other data.

The study by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis was actually released earlier in the month.

What's worth a closer look, though, is that while Minnesota tied for 5th in GDP growth, neighboring Wisconsin placed 32nd.

MPR blogger Paul Tosto takes a look at several comparisons between states that not too long ago were running pretty even by most economic measures. Now the Gopher state seems to be eating Wisconsin's cheese.

The numbers suggest that Minnesota weathered the recession better than its neighbor and is recovering faster. As for the future, MPR cites a Federal Reserve forecast that sees solid growth in Minnesota for the next six months, while Wisconsin is among five states where a decline is expected. (Incidentally, high flying North Dakota is also among those five states.)

The reasons for Wisconsin's sluggishness are not crystal clear. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says some economists cite the state's reliance on manufacturing industries, which have suffered from overseas competition.

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