Kansas lags most of region in GDP growth

? Kansas’ gross domestic product grew 1.9 percent in 2013, slightly ahead of the national rate, but lagged behind all regional states except Missouri, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“We’re not doing very well,” said Kansas University Professor Donna Ginther, director of the Center for Science, Technology and Economic Policy.

In the Plains Region, North Dakota’s GDP grew 9.7 percent; South Dakota, 3.1 percent; Nebraska, 3 percent; Iowa, 2.9 percent; Minnesota 2.8 percent and Missouri, 0.8 percent.

Among Kanas’ other neighboring states, Colorado’s GDP increased 3.8 percent; and Oklahoma, 4.2 percent.

The national GDP increased 1.8 percent.

Several states in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains saw significant growth from oil and gas drilling and agriculture, according to the statistics.

GDP is the value of finished goods and services and is considered a key indicator of economic health.

Ginther said the new figures show consumer consumption and construction are low in Kansas and government purchasing was the lowest in the region.

“Government cuts have been an economic drag on the state as well as consumers staying home,” she said. “Anything we can do to invest in new industries and opportunities will create economic growth.”

In recent weeks, Kansas has been hit with several rounds of troubling economic news.

Tax revenue in April and May fell $310 million under estimates, and that has put the state budget in a precarious situation. Individual income tax collections from July 2013 through last month were 25 percent less than during the same period the previous year.

A revenue profile from the non-partisan Kansas Legislative Research Department shows in the next fiscal year the state will have an ending balance of $56 million and that could become a deficit of more than $1.2 billion in 2018.

On Wednesday, Democratic candidate for governor Paul Davis called on Gov. Sam Brownback to acknowledge the state’s economic problems that Davis said have been caused by Brownback’s tax changes.

The Legislature and Brownback cut the state income tax rate and exempted the owners of 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from income taxes. Brownback has argued the tax cuts will boost the economy.