Wyoming Tops State Economic Index

From the Wyoming Business Report, December 23, 2011

Wyoming, South Dakota and Michigan outperformed the rest of the United States in the third quarter of 2011, according to a Bloomberg measure of economic health.

The Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States (BEES) illustrates how agricultural and industrial states fared better than the rest of the national from July through September, compared with the previous three months. The index, which was introduced in November, uses data on employment, real estate, tax collections and share prices to chart the trajectory of regional economies.

Wyoming, the biggest coal producer and home of the third-largest natural-gas reserve, was the top performer, lifted by higher home prices, a drop in mortgage delinquencies and a jump in tax collections. South Dakota, a corn, wheat and cattle producer, ranked second. Colorado and North Dakota, two other energy producers, were also among the highest-ranked states, lifted by gains in personal income.

Also among the top states were Illinois, Idaho and Minnesota. The worst performers were Alabama, New Mexico and Delaware, where local-company shares were among the hardest hit during the U.S. equity market’s slide in the third quarter. They were also hurt by the failure of tax collections to increase, a trend experienced by a majority of the states.

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