CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's economy grew at one of the fastest rates in the country in 2012, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Mountain State tied Indiana and Tennessee with the eighth-fastest rate of growth — a 3.3 percent increase in state real gross domestic product.
(Economics lesson: GDP measures final market value of all the goods and services produced somewhere during a given time period. Saying "real" means it also accounts for inflation.)
West Virginia's growth rate exceeded the national reading of 2.5 percent for the year.
Believe it or not, the state's mining sector was the best performer last year, growing at a 2.44 percent clip, while the utilities sector — declining by 0.2 percent — was the biggest drag on the economy.
North Dakota, with its oil-rich Bakken shale region, logged the fasted rate of growth of any state at 13.4 percent while Connecticut brought up the rear, with its economy actually contracting by 0.1 percent last year.
For the second year in a row, the Southwest region — including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma — logged the best regional rate of growth at 4.1 percent. New England was the worst, growing at just 1.2 percent.
While West Virginia's top 10 performance is nice, don't break out the party balloons just yet.
The figures released last week are what the Bureau of Economic Analysis calls "advance statistics," or those "based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency."
Last June, the bureau reported that West Virginia had the third-fastest rate of growth in the country, growing at 4.5 percent.