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NM Has Third-Fastest Growing Economy In Q1

NM Has Third-Fastest Growing Economy In Q1

The state's gross domestic product grew by $1.8 billion, or 2.8 percent during the quarter. Only Texas and West Virginia had faster growing GDPs.

Spurred by a resurgent oil and gas industry, New Mexico’s economy grew at the third fastest rate in the nation during the first three months of the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday.

The state’s gross domestic product grew by $1.8 billion, or 2.8 percent during the quarter. Only Texas and West Virginia had faster growing GDPs.

And even though the price of oil remains far below its 2014 highs, producers in New Mexico continue to pump oil and near record levels.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, New Mexico’s crude oil production in April was up 9.1 percent over April of 2016, and the number of rigs drilling for oil “were well above year-ago levels.”

In early trading Wednesday, the price of a barrel of West Texas Crude was $48.25 a barrel, or 0.75 percent above yesterday’s price.

Of New Mexico’s 21 industry sectors, 12 had positive GDP growth in the quarter, and nine had negative growth. The mining sector, which includes the oil and gas industries, grew by 1.75 percent. Even the manufacturing sector saw its GDP increase in the quarter.

Sectors that had negative growth rates were utilities, retail trade, information, financial activities, real estate and rentals, professional and business services, management of companies, arts and entertainment, and other services.

New Mexico recently had some good news on job creation. In the year that ended June 30, the state added 19,300 jobs for a 2.3 percent growth rate. The number of jobs added was the highest year-over-year monthly increase in 11 years. The last time the state added that many jobs was in December of 2006 when the year-over-year increase totaled 19,500 jobs.

While the jobs news was the best in years, the state still has yet to regain all the jobs it lost during the recession.

At the end of the first quarter this year, New Mexico’s GDP was $96.7 billion, up from $95 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The state’s economy so far this year has been mixed, but mostly positive. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, “New Mexico nominal personal income grew 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year, with workplace earnings up 2.2 percent. Home prices increased 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to a year ago, while single-family and multifamily permits recorded a 7.3 and -66.0 percent change, respectively, year-to-date through May 2017.”

New Mexico’s exports in the first quarter were 16.7 percent lower than for the same time last year.

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

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

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