Southwest Led GDP Growth in the First Quarter of 2019

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Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in the first quarter 2019 compared to the last quarter of 2018. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the real GDP growth rates, measured on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis, ranged from 5.2% in West Virginia to 1.2% in Hawaii.

Nationwide, real GDP growth increased to 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019, from 2.2% in the last quarter of 2018. Finance and insurance; retail trade; and health care and social assistance were the leading contributors to the acceleration in real GDP growth in the first quarter.

Regionally, Southwest recorded the highest growth rates for the first quarter of 2019 at 4.8%. New England reported the lowest growth during this time at 2.5%. Year-over-year ending in the first quarter of 2019, Southwest recorded the highest growth in real GDP at 4.7% while New England recorded the lowest gains at 2.0%.

According to the industry statistics, 16 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 3.1% increase in real GDP in the first quarter. Real value added (a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP) for the finance and insurance industry group increased 9.5%, after decreasing 6.2% in the fourth quarter.  The retail trade industry group’s real value added increased 11.9% in the first quarter, after decreasing 2.5% in the last quarter. In the Health care and social assistance industry group, real value added increased 6.2% in the first quarter, after increasing 2.4% in the last quarter. This was the largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2008.

West Virginia recorded the highest real GDP growth rate of 5.2% for the first quarter of 2019. The largest contributions came from Retail trade and Finance and insurance industry groups. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and Wholesale trade were the drags to the state economy. Finance and insurance and Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry groups were the leading contributor to growth in Texas (5.1%), the second fastest growing state. Finance and insurance and Retail trade industry groups were the largest contributors to real GDP growth in New Mexico (4.6%), the third fastest growing state.



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