Until the late 1940s manufacturing was of only minor importance. It was limited to the making of construction materials, some food processing, smelting, railroad maintenance, and Native American crafts. Industry was slow to develop because New Mexico lacked a large consuming market, either within its borders or nearby. However, since World War II (1939-1945) industry has been boosted by federal government activities. The United States Department of Defense brought ordnance and the making of components for transportation and electronic equipment to the fore in New Mexico. In addition, improved transportation and population shifts contributed to the growth of industry in the 1970s and 1980s. The state also has oil refineries.
In 1996 the leading industries in the state were the manufacturers of electronic equipment, chiefly semiconductors; printers and publishers, mainly newspaper publishers; food processors; manufacturers of instruments, such as missile guidance systems and surgical appliances; makers of transportation equipment, including aircraft engines and parts and motor vehicles; and manufacturers of machinery, led by computer makers. Albuquerque is the state’s chief industrial center. Almost all of the electricity generated in New Mexico comes from steam-driven power plants burning fossil fuels, mostly coal, and less than one percent comes from hydroelectric power plants. Much of the electricity is produced in the Four Corners area in the northwest and is consumed outside the state.
The coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant is one of the largest fossil-fuel steam-driven power plants in the world.
The many national and state recreation areas, beautiful scenery, Spanish colonial heritage, and renowned art galleries draw thousands of visitors to New Mexico every year. Popular events such as the International Hot Air Balloon Festival and the New Mexico State Fair, and sites such as Carlsbad Caverns continually attract visitors from around the world. During the summer, the state’s mountains, rivers, and lakes are havens for outdoor enthusiasts. Winter sports, such as downhill skiing and cross-country skiing are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. "New Mexico" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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