PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — New statistics show that northern New England’s economy grew at a faster rate than the nation’s during 2008, with New Hampshire leading the way.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday that real gross domestic product grew by 1.8 percent in New Hampshire, 1.7 percent in Vermont and 1.4 percent in Maine. That compares to 1 percent for all of New England, and less than one percent for the nation as a whole.

The fastest economic growth was in North Dakota, at more than 7 percent. The economy contracted in a dozen states, with Alaska’s 2 percent decline the worst showing.

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