State economic growth slowed in the last year

But Colorado continues to outpace U.S. average

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) – Growth in Colorado’s economic output slowed last year, but it was still faster than the average, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The state output in 2011 expanded by 1.9 percent from 2010 to $234.3 million, down from 2.4 percent growth in 2010, and ranked 14th among states, the agency said.

U.S. economic output in 2011 grew by 1.5 percent from the previous year, less than half of the 3.1 percent growth rate in 2010.

Economic output rose the fastest in North Dakota, fueled by the state booming energy industry, while output fell the most in Wyoming, as a result of a contraction in its energy industry. Output fell last year in just five other states from 2010.

Economic output is the value of goods and services generated in a state or nation and is calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The bureau calculates the output data, which it calls gross domestic product, by adding together output from all industries in a state or nation.

Colorado growth came mostly from the state information services, manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical-services industries; that more than offset declines in its real estate and agricultural industries.

The state economic growth per person, after adjustments for inflation, last year grew just 0.5 percent from 2010, but was still the first gain since 2008 and the strongest since 2006. Colorado economic growth per person in 2011 was 8.9 percent higher than the national average at $45,792.

The state’s growth demonstrates that new technology is a good path to strengthen the economy, although growth would have been strong both in Colorado and the rest of the nation without a slowing in exports, probably as a result of slower economic growth in Europe and China, said Fred Crowley, senior economist for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum.

Revisions to economic growth in previous years paralleled the nationwide numbers with output for 2010 revised upward, while output for 2007-09 was revised downward.

Nationwide, manufacturing was the biggest contributor to economic output growth in 2011 even though its growth slowed to 7.9 percent from 17 percent in the previous year. Information services and professional, scientific and technical services all contributed significantly to the nation economic output, while real estate, rental and leasing declined.