Delaware’s growth rate tied for second from bottom among 50 states

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GDP1Delaware has ended up with sluggish growth in its gross domestic product in 2012.

That was according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Gross domestic product is the value of goods and services.

The state ranked second lowest among the 50 states, tied with South Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming with a .2%. The national rate of growth was 2.5%.

Oil-rich North Dakota reported a 13.4% gain. Crude oil from North Dakota is aiding the PBF Delaware City Refinery, which is receiving shipments via rail car and spent $50 million or more on an unloading facility.

The gross domestic product is closely watched. A stronger growth rate would result in more hiring and business expansion.

Connecticut was the only state to show negative growth, with a drop of  .1%  in GDP.

Delaware might have ended with a negative number were it not for growth in the financial services sector.

The state’s growth rate in financial jobs was among the strongest in the national, according to the report.  The cateogry  contributed 0.75 percentage point or more to the growth of real GDP in Utah, South Dakota, and Delaware.

Growth was tepid the region that includes Delaware. Still, GDP  growth rate was still well below that of its neighbors, especially when it came to Maryland, a state that has seen growth in federal jobs that have moved into the state in various restructuring moves,  and growth in high tech areas.

Delaware’s unemployment rate, while below the national average, has also remained above 7 percent and only a few tenths of a percentage point below the national figure.

In the past, that gap between the state and national rate was 1 percent or more.

Reasons for the sluggish performance in Delaware have been widely debated and range from the lack of an auto industry, one of the strongest contributors to the growth in the manufacturing and high utility rates. Both auto plants in the state closed in 2008 and 2009.

At the same time, Delaware remained a wealthy,  productive state by national standards. Per capita real GDP ranged from a high of $61,183 in Delaware to a low of $28,944 in Mississippi. Per capita real GDP for the U.S. was $42,784.

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