Preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that personal income growth slowed in 2008. In Louisiana, personal income growth slowed to 4.2 percent in 2008, a virtual crawl compared to 10.2 percent in 2007. Of course the decline is not limited to Louisiana, as personal income growth nationwide slowed to 3.9 percent in 2008, compared with 6 percent in 2007.

So if you see the glass as half-full, Louisiana is ahead of the average in growth. But if you see it as half-empty, Louisiana’s growth declined by almost 60%, while national growth declined by only 35%. And any analysis of Louisiana’s performance must take into consideration the impact of hurricane recovery, as LSU economist Loren Scott points out.