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Statistics Show West Virginia Ranks Third in Economic Growth despite WV CALA Claims

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It looks like the WV CALA (West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse) is again wrong in its claims about the mountain state.

In a West Virginia Edge Business Report, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis,(BEA), West Virginia’s economy sits at the number three spot for the fastest-growing economy in the U.S. in 2013. New statistics show a 5.1% growth. What is causing this economic growth? Data cites Marcellus and Utica natural gas development as being contributing factors.

Across the U.S., economic growth came from the following areas:

• Fishing and hunting
• Forestry
• Real estate, rental and leasing
• Nondurable goods manufacturing
• Agriculture

The BEA also reported that mining helped improve growth in five states, including West Virginia.

Exports have also increased to Mexico. Representatives from nine West Virginia companies and those from the West Virginia Development Office went to Mexico in July 2014 to meet with prospective contacts.

Other growth in West Virginia was seen in the bioscience industry. It jumped 6.9% since 2007. Pharmaceutical drugs make up the highest portion of the bioscience industry in the state and had a 73% growth rate in 2013.

The WV CALA claims West Virginia lost 7,000 jobs last year and ranked last in job growth in2013. If this were the case then how did the mountain state rank third in economic growth?

Agricultural Tourism Helps Boost Economy

According to an article in The Herald Dispatch, the Associated Press reports that West Virginia is among several states where there is a “growing agriculture tourism trend.” It cites U.S. Agriculture Department statistics which found a 24% increase in agriculture tourism over a five-year period.

What exactly is agricultural tourism? Its “working farm enterprises” including the following:

• Barn dances
• Zip-line rides
• Pick-your-own-berries
• Corn mazes
• Weddings
• Pumpkin patches
• Farm stands

According to the USDA, 174 farms in the mountain state made $1.2 million in 2012 from agricultural tourism. That number is up from 2007.