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South Dakota One of Three States with Shrinking GDP in 2022 Q3

John Tsitrian contributes the latest evidence that Governor Kristi Noem’s frequently repeated claim that South Dakota has “the strongest economy in America” is flat wrong:

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product by State Q3 2022, 2022.12.23.
Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product by State Q3 2022, 2022.12.23.

The following links are to quarterly reports from the U.S. Bureau of Economic analysis.

In Q1, the country’s GDP declined.  U.S. GDP was -1.6%.  South Dakota’s came in at a  whopping -3.5%, putting us in the lowest quintile of states.

In Q2, the country’s GDP was  -0.6%. How did South Dakota do? We were at -1.7%, landing us in the fourth lowest quintile.

In Q3, the U.S. as a whole turned things around and grew at a +3.5% pace. Did South Dakota keep pace and turn positive? Nope, we declined -0.5%, landing us back in the lowest quintile.

What’s particularly discouraging about those Q3 numbers is that we were the only state among our contiguous neighbors to come up negative [John Tsitrian, “Noem Should Use Her New Flamethrower to Light a Fire Under S.D.’s Economy. Our GDP Has Been Lagging, Big Time,” South Dakota Standard, 2023.01.03].

Three straight quarters of GDP shrinkage—Kristi Noem is leading South Dakota through a longer, deeper recession than the nation as a whole experienced. Does Noem mean to say that South Dakota has the strongest recession in America?

The BEA reports that South Dakota was only one of three states whose economy shrank in Q3, and only Alabama saw faster shrinkage (–0.7%).

Noem avoided mentioning GDP in her December budget address, but she did claim that South Dakota’s “personal income growth is number one.” South Dakota’s personal income did increase in Q3 at an annual rate of 4.2%. But Q3 personal income increased 5.3% nationwide. Q3 personal income grew faster than South Dakota’s rate in 37 states, including Nebraska (4.8%), North Dakota (4.9%), Wyoming (5.5%), and Minnesota (5.8%). South Dakota’s personal income growth was number 1 in Q1 this year, but it slipped to number 2 in Q2 and dropped to number 38 in Q3. Q4 will have to contribute some remarkable growth to make 1, 2, and 38 average to 1 for the year. South Dakota’s personal income growth in 2021 was number 2, behind Idaho. South Dakota’s personal income growth in 2020 was number 12. In 2019, it was number 34. Not one full year of Noem’s reign has brought South Dakotans the fastest growth in personal income.

The next time you hear some fanboy tweeting about what a superlative job Kristi Noem does running an economy, ask him what evidence he’s looking at. He surely isn’t looking at real data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-01-03 07:21

    Hey, what’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, a nutball legislature, living in a chemical toilet, sacrifice zone, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area?

  2. Mark Anderson 2023-01-03 08:48

    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain Cory. Your economy is growing in a metaphorical way.

  3. Richard Schriever 2023-01-03 09:23

    Cory, that was Mississippi that “grew” at -.7%, not Alabama.

  4. buckobear 2023-01-03 09:51

    At least we beat Mississippi.

  5. larry kurtz 2023-01-03 10:19

    Today, Republican counties throughout the High Plains where desertification driven by overgrazing and poor land management practices still yield scorched earth.

    Ag producers have destroyed shelter belts to plant industrial crops that deplete aquifers and now drought is blowing toxin-laden topsoil into downwind states. Spring wildfire seasons begin in eastern Colorado, western Kansas, the panhandles of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and other Republican-held areas where moral hazard and poor ranching practices routinely decimate the high plains.

  6. P. Aitch 2023-01-03 10:43

    A negative GDP growth is really bad. Especially when surrounded by positive growth states. What’s going wrong, South Dakota?

  7. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-03 11:13

    Every summer we have haze in my area caused by smoke from wildfires in Canada.
    Republicans must be running Canada too.

  8. Mark Anderson 2023-01-03 12:14

    Don’t give them ideas Edwin. Although, I would like to see conservatives move north rather than to Florida. Don’t know if they could handle the winters.

  9. John 2023-01-03 13:24

    Edwin, you haven’t paid attention. Earth hating conservatives are running Alberta and Saskatchewan.
    But since over 50% of Canadians live between the Great Lakes, it matters little.

  10. Edwin A Arndt 2023-01-03 16:27

    Well John, according to your reasoning, California must be
    run by earth hating conservatives. Right John?

  11. Mark Anderson 2023-01-03 17:33

    Yes, Edwin the rural areas of California are run by conservatives. They have their own flame throwers.

  12. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-03 18:24

    OK John, where ever a wildfire occurs, republicans are responsible.
    Yup. Got it.

  13. larry kurtz 2023-01-03 18:31

    One need look no further than the Black Hills National Forest for how politics has completely altered a landscape but there are plenty other public lands examples that illustrate the red state, blue state divide. Here in New Mexico public comments on the fireshed and forest plan will look way different than how they’ll read in my home state of South Dakota and in the Wyoming Black Hills.

    Land managers have climate change guns to their heads so it’s usually damned if you do and damned if you don’t conduct prescriptive burns. But it’s probably a straight line from the previous administration’s Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and crashes in morale within the US Forest Service to current wildfires and conditions on the Santa Fe National Forest.

    Every watershed on the BHNF is at grave risk. Preserve the mature, old growth and legacy pine by saving them from the Neimans, clear cut without building new roads especially where doghair guzzles water supplies, chokes aspen, birch or hazelnut and burn, baby, burn.

  14. larry kurtz 2023-01-03 19:19

    The former administration blamed California wildfires on the lack of logging with statements typically devoid of facts but the real culprits are downed power lines and a warming climate. Over a half million wildfires are started by arsonists every year in the US and if you live in the wildland-urban interface government can’t always protect you from your own stupidity. If counties and states just burned off their road and highway rights of way every year that creates substantial fire breaks.

  15. grudznick 2023-01-03 20:35

    What about the little birdies and fuzzy animals that live in the ditches, Lar?

  16. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-03 21:44

    Grudz, you know that they would shoo all those cute fuzzy critters out
    of the ditch before they burned it. Just like they do in SD.

  17. grudznick 2023-01-03 23:17

    You’re saying then, Mr. Arndt, that they’d run a herd of migrant fellows down the ditch to chase the critters back onto private property and out of the public shooting zone? I smell a new law bill this year to prohibit that sort of despicable actionism by those heinous landowners and payers of the cost to raise said critters.

  18. larry kurtz 2023-01-04 08:03

    Aberdeen hit a state-record AQI of 429 in 2018. Other East River cities logged their worst-ever AQIs last year: 212 in Brookings, 244 in Pierre, 182 in Sioux Falls and 247 in Watertown. South Dakota’s East River region isn’t the only area losing its relative immunity to wildfire smoke. Last year, smoke from Western wildfires drifted all the way to New York City.

  19. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-04 08:57

    The would have to be properly documented migrant guys.

  20. larry kurtz 2023-01-04 09:07

    Thanks to Republican Earth haters the crony capitalism that keeps South Dakota the 8th worst state for the working class and my home town of Elkton is struggling to find enough housing for migrant workers often living in squalor.

  21. John 2023-01-05 20:42

    “The Road to Serfdom” apologies to Friedrich Hayek . . . Janklow, et al, overruled 400+ years of history and wisdom. They overturned the long-established rule against perpetuities (perennial family wealth).
    Perpetual unearned wealth is a bad drag on an economy. The South Dakota trust industry will prove being a drag on the state’s economy, incapable of producing social wealth for the citizens of South Dakota.

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