Maryland's growth in personal income last year was one of the smallest in the nation, a regionwide problem as federal furloughs and other cutbacks pinched earnings, the Department of Commerce said Tuesday.

Maryland saw a 1.6 percent increase last year in personal income, which includes wages, dividends, interest and other payments. That compares to a 2.6 percent increase nationwide.

Only West Virginia, with 1.5 percent, saw less growth, according to the Commerce Department. Virginia (1.7 percent) and D.C. (1.9 percent) were just slightly better off.

West Virginia's slowdown wasn't government driven, but for the rest of the area, budget cutting by federal agencies played a significant role. Between Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, civilian federal government earnings — wages and other payments to workers — fell $1.1 billion last year, the Commerce Department said.

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