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State Economy
The United States is one of the largest and most technologically developed countries in the world. The Gross Domestic Product of the country in terms of purchasing power parity of the country has reached at $12.36 trillion (2005 est.).

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Pennsylvania Economy

Agriculture and Industry in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania economy is a set of human and social activities and institutions related to the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of agriculture and industry goods and services. The balance between Pennsylvania various economic sectors differs largely between various regions and other states in the US.

Pennsylvania Agriculture and Industry

Pennsylvania's real gross state product in 2012 was estimated to be $511,345 which was $323,905 and 173% and 3 times higher than the national state average, $187,440. Pennsylvania has the 6th highest GSP out of the 50 states.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Pennsylvania was the nation's leading producer of steel. This was due to the state's rich deposits of bituminous (soft) coal and iron ore - two components that are fundamental to the steel industry. A thriving anthracite (hard) coal mining industry in Pennsylvania made the state a leader in railroading during this era. But such industries began to decline dramatically in Pennsylvania during the later half of the 20th century.

Today, Pennsylvania is one of the nation's most important producers of natural resources including coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Deposits of limestone, sand, and slate are also mined and provide the state with significant economic benefits.

Pennsylvania is home to a large number of manufacturing companies that produce metal products, chemicals, transportation equipment, machinery, glass and plastic products, and food. The Hershey Foods Corporation in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is North America's leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa, non-chocolate candies, and chocolate-related food items. Hershey exports its products to more than 90 countries worldwide. The company also produces a wide variety of grocery items.

Food production is very important part to the economy of Pennsylvania. The state's fertile agricultural areas produce dairy products, mushrooms, fruit, potatoes, cattle and poultry, and grains such as corn, wheat, and oats.

Pennsylvania Agriculture:

Dairy products, poultry, cattle, nursery stock, mushrooms, hogs, hay.

Pennsylvania Industry:

Food processing, chemical products, machinery, electric equipment, tourism.

Pennsylvania's 2001 total gross state product was $408.4 billion, up from 383 billion in 1999. This ranks Pennsylvania 6th in the nation. The 2003 Per Capita Personal Income was $31,988, 16th in the nation, down from 19th place in 1999. Its agricultural outputs are dairy products, poultry, cattle, nursery stock, mushrooms, hogs, and hay. Its industrial outputs are food processing, chemical products, machinery, and electric equipment. Tourism is a very big industry in the state, ranking 7th in most visited state in the union, and 7th in tourism expends with $15.9 billion. Only California, Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Nevada ranked higher.

Pennsylvania has a large, diverse group of manufacturing companies and within this group are some whose products have come to be household words, symbolic of ordinary American life. Among these products are Hershey bars from the The Hershey Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Heinz ketchup and Heinz-57 sauce from the H. J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh; Crayola products from Binney & Smith, Inc., in Easton; and Zippo lighters from Zippo Manufacturing in Bradford.

Other corporations based in Pennsylvania are : Alcoa, Comcast, United States Steel, Rohm and Haas, CIGNA, Sunoco, Pep Boys, Utz/ Herr's/ Wise Potato Chips, and many others, especially insurance, pharmaceutical, and steel corporations.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is well known for its quality wood products such as furniture, sheds, gazebos and play sets. Most of these are produced by Amish and Mennonite craftsmen and are shipped all over the country and throughout the world.

On Lake Erie some freshwater commercial fishing exists, the principal catch being yellow perch.

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Shopping
Along with California and New York, Pennsylvania is probably one of the best states for shopping. The state, technically, has the largest mall in the world- King of Prussia Mall which has more shopping space than the Mall of America. Other massive malls include Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Mills, and more then 50 other big malls located in the state. Also, Pennsylvania plays host to many shopping centers surrounding malls. Pennsylvania is known for having a wide selection of stores, restaurants, and hotels and resorts. The only down fall is the state's sales tax which stands at 6%.

Pennsylvania is an Alcoholic beverage control state.

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Taxation

Greetings from PennsylvaniaThe two largest sources of state revenue are income taxes on individuals and businesses and the state sales tax. In addition, the state imposes other taxes and fees on businesses and collects fees for various licenses and permits. There is also an inheritance tax, taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and taxes and fees on certain other goods and services. There is also a tax on the transfer of real property.

Pennsylvania is one of only five American states to employ a flat tax on personal income. Unlike the others, Pennsylvania's is a pure flat tax with no personal exemptions. As of 2005, the income tax rate for individuals is 3.07% of earned income.

The state assesses a 6% sales tax on taxable goods and services. Counties may add additional sales tax charges, but as of 2005, only Philadelphia and Allegheny counties charge an additional sales tax rates. Items such as unprepared food (not ready-to-eat), most clothing, shoes, drugs, textbooks, and residential heating fuels are exempt from sales tax.

The state government does not levy or collect taxes on real estate or personal property. Most counties, municipalities, and school districts do levy taxes on real estate. In addition, some local bodies assess a wage tax on personal income. Generally, the total wage tax rate is capped at 1% of income but some municipalities with home rule charters may charge more than 1%. Thirty-two of the state's sixty-seven counties levy a personal property tax on stocks, bonds, and similar holdings.

In addition to taxes collected on liquor, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is the sole retail distributor of liquor in the state through its government owned Wine and Spirits Stores. Profits from these retail operations are used to fund a number of programs including the Pennsylvania State Police.

State Economies
State Economies
A central feature of the US economy is a reliance on private decision-making ("economic freedom") in economic decision-making. This is enhanced by relatively low levels of regulation, taxation, and government involvement, as well as a court system that generally protects property rights and enforces contracts.
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