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By Emily Wagster Pettus

Associated Press

JACKSON (AP) — An expert says Mississippi’s economy is outpacing the national economy, though both are growing at a relatively slow rate.

State economist Darrin Webb told lawmakers Thursday that Mississippi had 1.9 percent growth in the first half of 2013 and he expects the rate to be 1.8 percent by year’s end.

He says the national economy is growing 1.6 percent.

Webb says he expects state and national economic growth to pick up the next two years. He says many jobs being added in Mississippi are low-wage.

House Speaker Philip Gunn says it’s no coincidence that Mississippi’s economy started improving in early 2012, when Republicans gained control of both chambers of the state Legislature.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, another Republican, says the national economy is lagging because of Democratic President Barack Obama.

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