Monday, June 5, 2017

Oregon GDP Growth Ranks Second Fastest Among All States

Oregon’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.3 percent in 2016 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This was more than double the pace of national growth (1.5%) and the second-fastest among all states. A year earlier, in 2015, Oregon’s growth tied with Texas for the fastest in the nation at 4.5 percent.

GDP measures the total market value of final goods and services produced in a given region over a specified period of time. It’s a comprehensive and widely used measure of economic activity.

National GDP growth was fueled by the information sector, as was also the case in Washington and Utah; the states with the fastest and third-fastest growth. This wasn’t the situation in Oregon. Instead, economic growth was driven by durable goods manufacturing, which accounted for nearly one-third of net gains. Oregon derives a disproportionate share of its GDP from this sector relative to the nation due to high tech (semiconductors); 19.1 percent or three times the national share. These manufacturers provide an unusually large amount of added value to their products and invest heavily in research and development. 

Despite being a powerhouse of Oregon’s economy, our growth advantage relative to other states does not hinge on durable goods. Removing it from the equation across all states, Oregon’s GDP comes in at 2.9 percent; more than 1 percentage point faster than the nation and seventh fastest among all states. 

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