Missouri's Economy Stagnant In 2011 | KCUR

Missouri's Economy Stagnant In 2011

Jun 7, 2012

Missouri’s economy stayed stagnant last year.  A new report by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis says Missouri’s gross domestic product remained steady in 2011.

The GDP measures all goods and services produced in the state.

According to the BEA report, Missouri saw positive growth in the health care, manufacturing, and the information sectors.

But that growth was not enough to counteract a five percent drop in real estate, an eight percent fall in utilities, and a nearly 6 percent decline in construction.

Bruce Domazlicky is an economist at Southeast Missouri State University. He says several factors contribute to sluggish the growth, such as lack of demand for goods and services.

“Retails sales haven’t grown as fast in Missouri as they have elsewhere, which is probably due to many factors. Employment growth has been kind of slow. Income growth has been a little bit slower than average. So you put all of that together and it tends to kind of hold things back a bit.”

But Missouri Department of Economic Development spokesman John Fougere cautions this report uses estimates. He expects the BEA to revise the numbers upwards in the coming months because of falling unemployment and a resurgent auto industry.

“I think these are all positive trends for Missouri’s economy. We’re going to continue to watch it very closely, but we are encouraged by the direction the economy is going in the state.”

He also points to Missouri’s lower-than-the-national average unemployment rate, a better job creation record than any neighboring state, and growth in exports.