4. Washington
fastest growing states washington
GDP growth rate: 3.6%

Information, manufacturing and retail drove growth in Washington.

The biggies are easy to spot -- Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) and Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) are based there, and Boeing (BA, Fortune 500) has huge manufacturing facilities in the state.

But a plethora of smaller firms have sprung up to supply or compete with these industry giants, and they have also contributed to the state's strong growth rate, said Steve Lerch, who heads the state's Economic Revenue and Forecasting Council.

The slowly recovering global economy is also helping Washington, said Lerch, as much of the software and aerospace items made there are destined for export.

  @hargreavesCNN - Last updated June 13 2013 11:54 AM ET
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State economies
5 slowest-growing states

Hobbled by a still-wounded finance sector, Connecticut is the nation's slowest-growing state.

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