GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked North Carolina as second in the nation when it comes to economic outlook.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is a non-partisan group of legislators focused on free markets and limited government. Each year, ALEC puts together what they call Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.

“Ten years ago or so, North Carolina ranked 26th in economic outlook,” said Executive Vice President of Policy and ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams.

How is a state’s economic outlook determined?

“There are 15 metrics they use in this ranking, and taxes are one of those metrics that they use,” said East Carolina University Department of Economics Professor Dr. Nick Rupp.

Variables like the top marginal personal income tax rate, top marginal corporate income tax rate, sales tax burden and state minimum wage are considered.

“Get to this economic outlook score, it’s all things that lawmakers can directly control even in a relatively short amount of time can make changes for better or worse and really change the trajectory of those states,” Williams said.

The report is aimed at lawmakers and legislators.

“How can they actually improve the economic outcome for their states, their budgets, and more importantly, their constituents and the hardworking people of their states,” Williams said.

Williams adds there is something everyday North Carolinians can learn as well.

“So much of our government and the actions that matter to us doesn’t happen here in Washington, DC. It happens in your state capitol, in your local levels of government, and that’s something this report wants to highlight,” he said.

As for the economy on the local level?

“The story for Greenville is, number one, it’s a low cost to do business, so bring your businesses here,” ENC Alliance President Josh Lewis said. “But the employees and the people we hope to attract as a state and as a community, the message to them is pretty clear that your dollar goes further here, so you know come to an area where you can do better, do better for your family and where businesses overall will be more productive.”

To read the report, click here.