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N.M. Growth Rate Slips

The biggest driver of income growth in the quarter was farm income, which increased by $118 million.


Personal income in New Mexico grew by $731 million, or 0.9 percent in the third quarter, but that’s nothing to get too excited about. It put the state in 47th place for growth among the states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In fact, New Mexico’s growth rate ranking slipped in the quarter. In the first quarter, the state was ranked 44th, and in the second quarter 40th, the BEA said.

The good news was that New Mexico relied much less on government transfer payments—things like Social Security and unemployment benefits—to boost its personal income growth. In the first quarter, for instance, 36 percent of the state’s personal income growth came from transfer payments. In the third quarter, that fell to 12 percent.

The biggest driver of income growth in the quarter was farm income, which increased by $118 million. The second largest contributor was the health care and social services sector, which saw income grow by $96 million. Next was professional, scientific and technical services, which was up by $66 million; and retail trade, which grew by $59 million.

The biggest loser was the mining sector, which includes the oil and gas industry. Its income fell by $71 million during the quarter.

With the exception of Utah and Arizona, surrounding state’s didn’t fare much better than New Mexico in terms of their of their growth rate rank. Utah ranked sixth and Arizona came in 10th. Nevada was 35th, Colorado 39th, Texas 41st, and Oklahoma, 45th.

Nationally personal income—all income to all residents from all sources—grew by 1.3 percent.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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Ashley Kurtz is a freelance theater critic.

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