When it comes to economics, Texas is back in a familiar spot--on top. The latest report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) ranks the Lone Star State number one in the nation for first quarter economic growth, at a rate of 3.9 percent. The first quarter of 2017 was a fairly rosy picture for the country overall, as 43 states plus D.C. saw economic growth. Still, Texas far outpaced the others. West Virginia was second at 3.0 percent and New Mexico third at 2.8 percent. Nebraska was dead last with a 4.0 percent decline in economic growth.
Two sectors primarily drove the numbers in Texas. "The mining industry was the largest contributor to the state's economic growth, but in addition the manufacturing industries--the tech manufacturers--also contributed significantly to the first quarter growth in the state," says Clifford Woodruff, economist with the BEA.
President Trump's pledge to revive the mining industry appears to be coming true so far, as evidenced by the BEA numbers in Texas and other states. "The resurgence in mining since the end of 2016 has been a strong contributor to growth," says Woodruff. "It was the largest contributor to growth in Texas, West Virginia and New Mexico, which were the three fastest growing states." Other Trump actions, like withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, have also been seen as positive for the Texas economy.
While Texas thrives, its longtime rival California stagnates. California's economic growth rate was just 0.1 percent in the first quarter, 42nd in the nation.