During yesterday’s press conference announcing the latest tax cut package proposed by the General Assembly and Governor McCrory, we heard a lot about the need for North Carolina’s economy to become competitive again as justification for their plans to steeply reduce tax rates on corporations and wealthy individuals.
But the evidence just keeps piling up that North Carolina’s economy is already competitive—regardless of the Tarheel State’s personal and corporate income tax rates. In the latest piece of news from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, it turns out that North Carolina experienced some the fastest economic growth in the nation in 2012, as measured by the annual change in real per capita Gross Domestic Product—a clear sign that our state is far more economically competitive than our legislative leaders try to pretend.
By the numbers, here’s how North Carolina’s economic growth stacks up to other states:
- North Carolina’s economy is one of the most competitive in the nation, growing by 1.76 percent last year, above the national average of 1.7 and faster than 32 other states.
- North Carolina’s growth rate is competitive in the Southeast, fully half a percentage point above the regional average.
- North Carolina’s growth rate ranked fifth out of 13 Southern states last year, outpaced only by Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Carolina. All of these states have lower median wages and higher poverty rates according to the Census Bureau than North Carolina, suggesting that whatever factors that are spurring their economic growth is not benefitting working families.
If North Carolina’s economy was uncompetitive as Governor McCrory and our legislative leaders contend, it’s hard to see it in how our state stacks up in terms of economic growth.