(Raleigh, N.C.) – Featuring “an economy that has hit its stride, and turbocharged by a long track record of innovation,” North Carolina has been designated the top state in the nation for competitiveness with the strongest economy, according to CNBC’s annual rankings. State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, said the distinction was years in the making and involved tireless dedication to improving the lives and fortunes of North Carolinians.
North Carolina scored 1,580 of a possible 2,500 points, outpacing Washington, Virginia, Colorado and Texas, respectively, among the Top 5 states. The CNBC competitiveness rankings measured 10 categories. They are workforce; infrastructure; cost of doing business; economy; life, health and inclusion; technology and innovation; business friendliness; education; access to capital; and cost of living.
North Carolina finished a close second in last year’s rankings, and has been in the Top 10 almost every year since the comparisons began in 2007, but this is the first year it has topped the list.
“This ranking is a credit to the taxpayers of North Carolina and the discipline of General Assemblies past and present to balance budgets, build surpluses and to establish Rainy Day Funds that bring certainty to any business that desires to expand and relocate to North Carolina,” Treasurer Folwell said.
“I have been honored to have played a role the last 15 years, as North Carolina Treasurer and keeper of the public purse, in operationalizing of the unemployment system reforms and as author of the legislation to reshape the workers compensation system,” Treasurer Folwell said.
“With inflation shooting to 9.1% in June, a 40-year high, consumers and families are facing their biggest struggle in modern times,” Treasurer Folwell said. “North Carolina is not immune to those pressures, but due to the foresight and policies put in place the past decade to create the state’s super-economy, the damage is somewhat blunted compared to other states.”
It is the second time in recent months North Carolina’s business and economic power has been in the national spotlight. According to a key annual report issued by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) called “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index” that measures 15 equally weighted policy variables to determine rankings, North Carolina has a stronger economic outlook than 48 other states because it is controlling spending and lowering taxes. In that 2022 report North Carolina soared to No. 2 in the rankings.
Treasurer Folwell said he has worked with North Carolina legislative leaders to steer a decade-long course toward much-needed reform. Disciplined tax and spending policies, reducing regulatory restraints on business and industry, combined with the principles of effective limited government have been the linchpin to the state’s shining performance.
Those policies and strategies have been beneficial in helping the Department of State Treasurer to maintain the state’s AAA credit rating, a crucial tool that injects growth and stability into the economy. That superior credit rating allows governments at every level to be able to borrow at lower interest rates so more money is available for public safety, education, transportation and infrastructure.
“Along with the pro-growth and pro-business policies come greater job creation and more tax revenue, which then flows through legislative allocations to help operate the State Health Plan and North Carolina Retirement Systems,” Treasurer Folwell said.