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      Commerce department: SC manufacturing grows faster than nation

      Caterpillar plant in Summerville. (File)

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- South Carolina's economy is outpacing the rest of the country and has one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the U.S., according to a report from the Department of Commerce.

      The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the state's economy as the 12th fastest growing in the nation, and tied with North Carolina as the fastest growing state on the East Coast.

      The report also shows the Palmetto State has the fastest growing manufacturing GDP on the East Coast.

      "South Carolina is outpacing the region and nation in GDP growth metrics," said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. "This tells me that our strategy is working: grow manufacturing, grow jobs. The race is on."

      Manufacturing played a big part in the state's annual GDP growth, according to the commerce report.

      "I've said before that South Carolina makes things and makes them well," said S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "South Carolina's GDP growth is proving this to the world. South Carolina remains a leader in the manufacturing renaissance. Manufacturing GDP in South Carolina grew 8.5 percent last year compared to the 7.8 percent U.S. rate."

      The report shows the state and the nation has grown their manufacturing sectors three straight years. In that time, South Carolina has attracted more than $9 billion in capital investments and more than 23,000 jobs in the sector, the commerce department said.

      "I think this shows that South Carolina is outrunning our peers in manufacturing and that we're successfully growing the manufacturing economy in our state," Hitt said.

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