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Washington State has nation’s fastest growing economy for 2nd year

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis released its data on GDP growth by state in 2017 and it turns out Washington State was at the top.

The state had a GDP growth rate of 4.4%, first among all states.  No other state was over 4%.  The national GDP growth was 2.1%.  Unlike state GDP numbers, the federal economic growth also includes defense expenditures.

GDP, or growth domestic product, is the sum of all activity in a given economy and is the most common measurement of an economy’s overall size.

This marks the second year that Washington State led all states in GDP growth.  In 2016, Washington State’s GDP grew at 3.9% while the US GDP was a modest 1.5%.  In 2015, Washington State’s economy grew at a pace of 3.8%, which placed it seventh overall that year.  It came in at 10th in 2014 with 3.3%.

Brian Bonlender, the Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, pointed to international trade and a culture of inclusion in Washington State as factors underpinning the growth.


According to the BEA, “Retail trade and information services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP in Washington, the fastest growing state.”

GDP growth in 2017 by state is illustrated below.