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(The Center Square) – West Virginia ranked 10th in the country in second quarter GDP growth, according to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The state finished its second quarter with a 7.3% GDP growth, which was just enough to land itself in the top 10. The state finished more than a half of a percentage point above the national average of 6.7% and finished ahead of all of its neighbors.

“This is a giant announcement,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a statement. “It just echoes what I’ve said over and over about West Virginia killing it economically and moving forward through this terrible pandemic.”

The national GDP increase is mostly reflective of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening of establishments and continued government responses regarding the pandemic, according to the report. The BEA noted that loans to businesses and grants to local governments increased during the second quarter and benefits to households declined.

“We have pushed the right buttons. We asked people to get back to work and now businesses are scaling up operations,” Justice said. “We’ve also seen big gains in tourism, hospitality, mining, and the oil and gas sector. The world is starting to realize just how good we really are; that we’re the diamond in the rough that everybody missed. ...We want to be #1 in GDP growth in the next quarter, so let’s keep pouring it on, West Virginia. Keep doing the great stuff you’re doing, and let’s keep moving forward.”

West Virginia’s unemployment has decreased over the last 16 months, but continues to hover around the national average.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.