CHARLESTON — West Virginia had the second-highest gross domestic product growth in the nation for the first quarter of 2017, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.
According to the analysis, real gross domestic product increased in 32 states and the District of Columbia for the first quarter. Texas saw the highest at 3.9 percent growth. West Virginia followed at 3 percent GDP growth.
Gross domestic product by state is the market value of goods and services produced by the labor and property located in the state, according to the bureau's report. GDP by state is the counterpart of the nation's GDP.
According to the bureau, mining grew 21.6 percent nationally and contributed to growth in 48 states. It was the leading contributor to growth in West Virginia, Texas and New Mexico.
Meanwhile, retail trade decreased 3.6 percent nationally and subtracted from growth in every state, according to the bureau. The bureau said the largest subtractions were in Oklahoma and West Virginia.
In a news release from the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, President Steve Roberts said the information released helps confirm economic trends they have seen since the beginning of the year.
“According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, West Virginia coal production has increased 31 percent from June 2016-June 2017, and natural gas production is at a five-year high,” Robert said in the release. “Additionally, recent reports from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in June, total employment in West Virginia climbed to over 747,100 for the first time in nearly a year. All of these numbers indicate that West Virginia's jobs recovery is real.”
Gov. Jim Justice's Chief of Staff Nick Casey said he believes the report is good news for the state.
“It's good to see,” he said. “West Virginians work hard and get it done. When times are tough, West Virginians pull together. Times are tough right now. So maybe, we are pulling together and making it happen.”
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