Southwest Region Led GDP Growth in the First Quarter of 2018


Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 48 states and the District of Columbia, declined in North Dakota and remained unchanged in Arkansas in the first quarter 2018 compared to the last quarter of 2017. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the GDP growth rates, measured on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis, ranged from 3.6% in Washington to a decline of 0.6% in North Dakota. However, the 2018 first quarter growth levels were lower compared to the previous quarter. As a result, nationwide growth in GDP reached 1.8%, which is a 0.9 percentage points lower than the 2017 fourth quarter level of 2.7%.

Regionally, Southwest and the Rocky Mountain areas recorded the highest growth rates for the first quarter of 2018. The Great Lakes region reported the lowest growth during this time at 1.4%. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, all the regions recorded growth in this time period.

Nationally, the Information (+0.32%) sector led the growth in the first quarter of 2018 followed by Durable and Nondurable goods manufacturing (+0.20%). Other services (except government and government enterprises) and Utilities reported the largest declines (-0.10%) during this this time.

In Washington, Information (+1.92%), Retail trade (+0.36%), and Nondurable goods manufacturing (0.26%) industries were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP. In North Dakota, the only state with a decline in 2018 first quarter real GDP, Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction and Construction declined by 0.52% and 0.48% respectively.


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