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Metro economic growth in Mississippi lags the nation in 2016

Economic growth in Mississippi’s three metropolitan areas lagged the national average in 2016.

Numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department show the economy shrank slightly in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula metro area, while it was flat in metro Jackson and grew in Hattiesburg.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast economy shrank 0.5 percent, 295th of 382 metro areas. Driving declines were professional business services, construction and durable goods manufacturing, a category that includes shipbuilding.

Hattiesburg’s economy grew 1.2 percent. Growth was led by professional and business services, health care, and private educational services.

Jackson recorded no growth. There, growth in professional business services and durable goods manufacturing, which includes auto assembly, were offset by declines in natural resources and mining, finance and real estate and information technology.

Metro areas nationwide grew 1.7 percent.

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