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North Carolina's state government spending pace has declined sharply since the financial crisis of 2007-09 and the Republican takeover of the N.C. General Assembly. From 2003-08, state spending increased by an average 7.7%, leading to steep budget deficits when the recession struck. Between 2011-18, state spending grew by an average 2.9% as the Republican-led legislature approved tax cuts and slowed outlays. With North Carolina's population growing faster than the national average amid a strengthening economy, the state has reported budget surpluses each of the last five years. For the 2018-19 fiscal year, revenue exceeded actual state spending by $907 million.

* CAROLINAS INDEX

The Carolinas Index is an equal weighted index composed of the 75 largest companies in the Carolinas based on market value.

* TAXABLE RETAIL SALES (BILLION)

TOTAL RETAIL SALES $13.7 BILLION

source: N.C. Department of Revenue. June tax collections based on May sales.

Caption: State budget...

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