La. personal income growth lags behind U.S. average

Total personal income in Louisiana grew at a slower rate than the United States average during the fourth quarter, according to a report released Wednesday.

Total personal income in the state was $183.9 billion during the fourth quarter, an increase of 1.7 percent from the third quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That’s slightly below the 1.9 percent growth nationwide in total personal income, which is the income earned by individuals from all sources.

The BEA reported that national inflation, as measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditures, was 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, the same as in the third quarter.

Louisiana also grew below the 1.9 percent average for Southeastern states in the BEA report.

The other states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Louisiana’s personal income growth rate ranked 42nd out of the 50 states.

Louisiana’s personal income rose by $3 billion during the quarter. Of that total, nearly $1.9 billion came from dividends, earnings and rent.

South Dakota grew the fastest, with a 4.8 percent increase in total personal income during the quarter, while West Virginia was at the bottom of the national rankings, with personal income increasing by 1.3 percent.

For the year, personal income grew by 3.5 percent nationally. Louisiana had a 2.8 percent increase in 2012, going up $5 billion during the year. Increased activity in the scientific, professional and technical services helped boost that figure.

Earnings in that sector were up by $559 million during the year.

North Dakota, which has been booming due to the oil and gas industry, had the biggest annual increase for the fifth time in six years, with personal income rising 12.4 percent. South Dakota, which was hurt by drought, had a 0.2 percent drop for the year.