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New numbers show Ohio's economy matched the national rate in 2013, but growth has slowed down


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's economic growth matched the national economy's last year, according to newly released federal statistics.

That makes the fourth straight year that growth in the Buckeye State either matched or surpassed the national average after trailing the nation for years heading into the Great Recession.

The numbers were in federal data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and reported by The Columbus Dispatch ( ).

"From about the late '90s, growth was less than the U.S. virtually every year until the last four years," said David Berson, senior vice president and chief economist at Nationwide.

The statistics show the Ohio economy grew by 1.8 percent in 2013, ranking 26th among the states. However, the growth last year was less than the past three years.

IHS Global Insight economist Karl Kuykendall tells the newspaper the strong growth rate that Ohio saw in the previous three years wasn't sustainable, given the state's demographics.

Every state but Alaska, which was hurt by a drop in oil production, had stronger growth last year, the bureau's report said. North Dakota, where oil production is booming, posted the biggest increase.

Manufacturing was the biggest contributor to growth in Ohio and the nation last year. Much of the growth within manufacturing occurred in sectors that focus on plastics, rubber products, chemicals and food manufacturing.

After the drought in 2012, farmers did much better last year.

People also are spending more on concerts, sporting events and movies.

The jobless rate in Ohio dropped to 5.7 percent in April, the lowest level in more than six years.

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch,

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