Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's chances for being selected as Mitt Romney's running mate got a home state boost from a new report from the state's fiscal watchdog.
The Minnesota Management and Budget's July economic update highlights the fact that the state's economy outperformed the nation's from 2007 to 2011 — the four year period encompassing much of Pawlenty's second term.
Recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce show that Minnesota’s economy has fared better than the U.S. averages since the start of the Great Recession. From 2007 until 2009 real GDP in the state fell by 2.3 percent, but by 2011 Minnesota real GDP exceeded 2007’s level by 2.7 percent. Nationally GDP fell by 4.4 percent between 2007 and 2009, and then recovered to a level just .04 percent above its 2007 average by 2011. Minnesota ranked 15th among states in GDP growth between 2007 and 2011. North Dakota ranked first with real GDP growing by 29.8 percent while Nevada (-9.0 percent), Michigan (-8.0 percent) and Arizona (-6.9 percent) trailed.
Manufacturing output in Minnesota showed the biggest percentage gain over the past four years, growing 13 percent from its 2007 base. Nationally manufacturing output in 2011 was 1 percent below that observed in 2007. Minnesota’s health care services sector also showed strong growth, up 7.9 percent from 2007. Nationally health care services grew by 12.2 percent. Output in Minnesota’s construction sector has fallen by 22 percent since 2007, slightly more than the nation’s 21.5 percent decline.
That stands in contrast with Romney, under whose leadership the state of Massachusetts saw itself has come under scrutiny as the state lost ground in job creation in relation to the nation at large.