Arizona’s gross domestic product increased faster than the national average — but the state still lags behind the rest of the country.
New figures released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that the total value of goods and services produced in the state last year grew 6.8 percent. That was the third highest in the nation.
The $206 billion figure also beat last year’s revised 6.6 percent figure.
State figures are the stateby-state counterpart of the national GDP which the BEA says is the “most comprehensive measure of U.S. economic activity.”
A large reason for Arizona’s big jump is strictly statistical: Arizona’s population grew faster than any other state in the nation in 2006.
When considered on a per capita basis, the state’s gross domestic product grew less than 3.1 percent.
That was still faster than a 2.4 percent national average. But it still left Arizona in 36th place among all states.
And that $33,441 per capita figure was just 89 percent of the national average of $37,714.
The new report shows that the main thing driving the Arizona economy is real estate, which makes up nearly 16 percent of the increase. That includes how much Arizonans pay each month in mortgage payments on their homes and rental payments.
Manufacturing of durable goods was 13 percent of the year-over-year hike.
David Drennon, a spokesman for the state Department of Commerce, said there are some indications that the 2007 figures will be better.
He specifically pointed out that foreign exports from Arizona for the first quarter of the year were up 23 percent from the same period a year earlier. For all of 2006, exports were $18 billion.
“If we continue along the same tracking for 2007 with that increase, we’re actually going to reach $20 billion for the first time ever,” Drennon said.
Topping the new state GDP report is Delaware with a GDP of $59,288.
The BEA credits that to that state’s high concentration of financial and insurance services.