This week, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis published its second quarter 2016 Personal Income Growth figures for all fifty states. These preliminary numbers indicate that Montana's personal income grew by about 0.9 percent... behind the national average of 1.1 percent. Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research Director Patrick Barkey offers some insight into the numbers.

"Montana personal income is income from all sources not just earnings, "income from all sources received by Montana households," said Barkey. "That number, just to give you an order of magnitude, is running at about a $44 billion total for 2016. It is a pretty good measure of the states health and prosperity."

According to Barkey, personal income growth this year has been slow compared to last year.

"What they are saying essentially is that the state has a had a few rocky quarters," Barkey said. "It is all pretty much growth and really that is in comparison to 2015. 2015 was a great year, particularly in the first three quarters of 2015 were very strong. 2016 data through the second quarter suggest that earnings growth slowed down, didn't go negative, but it was substantially slower."

Montana Governor Steve Bullock commented on the new figures saying, "This is great news for Montana. Thanks to the resiliency of Montana's diverse economy, wages are on the rise, which means more money in the pocketbooks of hard-working Montana families across the state."

Growth in Montana outpaced neighbors to the east, including Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. Idaho on the other hand had the third fastest personal income growth in the country last quarter. Montana was ranked 33rd.

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