On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its latest look at states’ gross domestic product — “the market value of goods and services produced by … labor and property.”
As the map above indicates, New Mexico’s GDP performed quite poorly between 2016 and 2017. At growth of 0.8 percent, just ten states — Nebraska, Mississippi, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, and Oklahoma — fared worse. (Three states’ economies actually shrank.) The average for all states was 1.7 percent, so New Mexico didn’t even reach half of the national mark.
Beaten by all but one of its neighbors — and bested by perennial underachievers New Jersey, Illinois, and New York — the Land of Enchantment saw its GDP decline in five categories: agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; information; durable goods manufacturing; nondurable goods manufacturing; and utilities.
Without the state’s boom in oil production, it’s possible that New Mexico would have joined Connecticut, Louisiana, and Kansas in experiencing a decline in overall GDP.
Strong, sustainable economic-development policies — not politically driven, “visionary” planning schemes — remain as desperately needed as ever in New Mexico. Clearly, what’s in place now isn’t working.