Wisconsin Leads Great Lakes Area Economic Growth

Wisconsin's economic growth is outpacing other big manufacturing states in the Upper Midwest.

The U-S Bureau of Economic Analysis says the value of good and services produced in Wisconsin last year grew by about four percent. That's the same rate as the nation and tops Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

Wisconsin's chief labor economist Terry Ludeman says the state's strength is having a mix of manufacturing specialties -- including plastics, paper and machinery -- rather than just one like Michigan's automotive industry.

Ludeman says growing high-tech business in the Madison area also helped the economy.

He says the strength of Wisconsin's construction industry is a good sign for 2005.

Combined, Wisconsin's gross state product is nearly 212 (B) billion dollars.