North Dakota, New York, Indiana and Massachusetts topped the list of states enjoying the most economic growth last year, according to statistics breaking down GDP by state that the U.S. Department of Commerce released last week. With all but two states experiencing expansion in 2010, the new data confirm a trend towards recovery in 2010 from weakness the previous year.
Leading the expansion last year was North Dakota, which grew 7.1% from the previous year. The Great Plains state benefited from mining and rising oil prices; new hydraulic extraction techniques have focused investor attention on the region’s rich shale oil deposits. North Dakota, with the second-smallest GDP of any of the states, did not suffer a housing crisis; its 3.8% unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation.
New York’s economy grew 5.1% last year, the second-highest growth rate. The cyclical financial services industry was cycling high in 2010, when the U.S. stock market clocked its second consecutive annual rally at year end. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, which broke down the state data by industry, credits finance and insurance with contributing more than a percentage point of New York’s GDP gains last year.
Indiana’s 4.6% expansion came in third in the state rankings, and there as in No. 7-ranked Oregon, durable-goods manufacturing contributed more than two of those percentage points.