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While North Carolina is understandably proud of its growth record over the last decade, a little modesty is in order. The state’s growth rate over the last decade ranked seventh of the 18 states and District of Columbia where Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank mostly operates, according to economist Mekael Teshome. He didn’t include South Carolina, but the Palmetto State also grew faster than North Carolina.

Gross state product grew by 8.6% from 2007-16 to $450 billion, compared with 9.7% in South Carolina, based on inflation-adjusted data. Texas grew more than three times faster than North Carolina during the period, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Tennessee also grew faster, though the Tar Heel state outpaced Virginia and Georgia. The slowest grower in the PNC footprint was New Jersey, which expanded by less than 2%.

N.C. State University professor Mike Walden cites two factors for the state’s underperformance: 1) a failure to obtain an auto or airplane assembly plant, unlike Tennessee and South Carolina. 2) the adverse impact of the recession on financial services, a major economic sector in North Carolina.

PNC is the nation’s sixth-largest banking company. It gained a foothold in North Carolina after its purchase of Royal Bank of Canada’s U.S. unit in 2012.

Teshome says North Carolina’s economy is hitting its stride and is growing faster than the average of PNC’s footprint. “With strong business confidence, 2017 is shaping up to be good year.”

 

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