JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — New figures show that Mississippi's economy grew in 2013 but slowed markedly from the year before.
Gross domestic product numbers released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis try to measure all of the economic output of each state.
Mississippi's 2013 growth rate of by 1.6 percent was below the national average of 1.8 percent, and ranked 29th among the 50 states. For 2012, figures were revised upward to show that Mississippi's economy expanded by 3.5 percent, the best in the Southeast and one of the best in the nation.
"It's a little bit lower than we were thinking but not significantly so," said state economist Darrin Webb said of the 2013 growth rate. "We kind of figured that 2013 was going to be a slowdown year."
Webb did say he was taken off guard by the upward change in the 2012 growth rate. It was one of only four times in the last 15 years that Mississippi's economy has grown faster than the nation. Other years included 2003, 2007 and 2008.
The biggest contributors to growth in Mississippi last year came from agriculture, construction and making nondurable goods such as petrochemicals. Construction of Mississippi Power Co.'s $5.2 billion Kemper County power plant and work on Chevron Corp.'s Pascagoula refinery were among big projects boosting construction last year. Mississippi farmers had a productive year, with high yields of corn, soybeans and cotton.