Economic Perspective: The Latest Reading on North Carolina’s Economy

NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences professor Dr. Mike Walden working in a recording studio.


“Today’s program looks at the latest reading on North Carolina’s economy. Mike, I understand the federal government just released the top measure for economic growth in the states. What is the measure, and how did North Carolina do?”


“The measure is gross domestic product, translated from economics that is the value of everything that we produce, in this case ‘we’ meaning North Carolina. So it includes not only products, manufactured products but also services. And in the third quarter of 2019, I know that’s a ways back, but that’s unfortunately the latest we have, North Carolina’s economy grew at an annualized rate of two percent.”

“Now that’s not bad. For that nation it was 2.1 so we were slightly under, and we have been slightly under the nation for a couple of years, and I think that’s due to our continued restructuring out of manufacturing into services. And we’re still more manufacturing heavy so that affects us more. I think also the trade war. And there has been a general slowdown nationally in manufacturing.”

“So slightly under the national rate, but in the southeast our rate beat Virginia. We beat Mississippi, and we beat Alabama, but we were lower for other states in the southeast. Now if you look nationally, the fastest growth in the third quarter of 2019 was Texas. They grew at a whopping four percent on an annualized basis. The slowest was Delaware. They grew not at all. Of course they have to go into negative territory to be in a recession so they’re not there yet.”

Mike Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University who teaches and writes on personal finance, economic outlook and public policy.

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