South Carolina outpaces nation in manufacturing growth

June 16, 2013

2012 marks third consecutive year of manufacturing growth in S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. –  South Carolina has one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. and has one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the region and nation, according to a recent U.S. Commerce Department report. South Carolina’s Real GDP growth rate of 2.7 percent put it above the national average of 2.5 percent and the southeastern regional average of 2.1 percent.

The report, released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, ranked South Carolina’s economy as the 12th fastest growing in the nation, and tied with North Carolina as the fastest growing state on the East Coast. In addition, South Carolina had the fastest growing manufacturing GDP on the East Coast.

“South Carolina is outpacing the region and nation in GDP growth metrics,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. “This tells me that our strategy is working: grow manufacturing, grow jobs. The race is on.”

South Carolina’s 2012 Real GDP growth rate compares favorably with the rate from the previous year, which was 2.2 percent. Gross domestic product is the market value of final goods and services produced within a region. Manufacturing played an important role in South Carolina’s GDP increase.

“I’ve said before that South Carolina makes things and makes them well,” said S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “South Carolina’s GDP growth is proving this to the world. South Carolina remains a leader in the manufacturing renaissance. Manufacturing GDP in South Carolina grew 8.5 percent last year compared to the 7.8 percent U.S. rate.”

The U.S. has seen growth in its manufacturing sector for three straight years, as has South Carolina. Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $9 billion in capital investment and more than 23,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“I think this shows that South Carolina is outrunning our peers in manufacturing and that we’re successfully growing the manufacturing economy in our state,” Hitt added.

During the last few years, South Carolina has also seen increases in worker productivity.

“Being able to show businesses outside of South Carolina the increases in worker productivity helps to recruit new business investment to the state,” added Hitt.