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Economy in Brief

State GDP in 2020:Q1
by Charles Steindel  July 7, 2020

All states (as well as DC) saw real GDP decline in the first quarter. The rate of decline was heavily influenced by how rapidly the state responded to the onset of the pandemic, as well as its specific industry mix. New York and Nevada saw contractions at an 8.2 percent annual rate, while Hawaii's output fell at an 8.1 percent rate. New York was afflicted by a collapse in financial output, as well as the state's mandated cessation of construction, while obviously Nevada and Hawaii suffered from the sudden stop to leisure travel. Great Plains states experienced much smaller declines (Nebraska's -1.3 percent was the lowest in the nation), essentially because estimates of farm output were strong (in the first month of the year, farm output is truly an estimate—there is little hard information available to fine-tune it).

Texas was the best-performing of the very large states, with its GDP declining at a relatively modest 2.5 percent annual rate. A fairly strong showing in agriculture, as well as its sluggish response to the pandemic, staved off a larger initial decline.

Looking toward Q2, it would be somewhat surprising if any state were to see its real output dropping at a less than double-digit rate.

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