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11 State Economies Still Down from Pre-Pandemic Levels

By at 6 July, 2022, 8:47 am

The Best and Worst Performing States

by Raymond J. Keating –

It goes without saying that the pandemic has generated severe woes across the U.S. and around the world. Looking at real GDP numbers (annualized seasonally adjusted data), the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 2022 stood at only 2.7 percent higher than where it was in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the pandemic struck.

While that’s deeply troubling, along with the fact that the possibility of recession looms, there are states whose economies in the first quarter of 2022 still were not back at where those states’ GDP stood in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In fact, as noted in the following table, there are 11 such states.

Worst Performing States

       Growth Rate in Real State GDP: Q4 2019- Q1 2022

Wyoming

         -8.0%

Alaska

         -7.6%

Hawaii

         -5.3%

North Dakota

         -4.0%

Louisiana

         -3.8%

Oklahoma

         -2.9%

New Mexico

         -1.6%

Maryland

         -0.9%

West Virginia

         -0.8%

Connecticut

         -0.4%

Kansas

         -0.03%

 

Those are dismal records. And another eight states have not fared much better, by barely growing over this period.

Next Worst States

         Growth Rate in Real State GDP: Q4 2019-Q1 2022

Pennsylvania

               0.1%

Wisconsin

               0.2%

Illinois

               0.2%

Vermont

               0.5%

New York

               0.6%

Nevada

               0.6%

New Jersey

               0.8%

Ohio

               0.9%

 

However, other states have managed to grow much faster than the overall U.S. growth rate of 2.7 percent. Consider the top seven states in terms of real growth from the fourth quarter 2019 and the first quarter 2022 – each up by more than five percent.

States with Strongest Growth

       Growth Rate in Real State GDP: Q4 2019-Q1 2022

New Hampshire

          8.8%

Utah

          6.6%

Washington

          6.2%

California

          5.9%

Tennessee

          5.8%

Idaho

          5.4%

Florida

          5.2%

 

Finally, it’s worth noting that 22 states over this period grew faster than the U.S. overall.

When making such comparisons, some state economies obviously have fared better than others. But no matter what, especially when confronted by such challenges as inflation, slow growth and perhaps a recession, federal, state and local policymakers should be working to make their policy climates far more amenable for growth-generating entrepreneurship and private investment.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His latest book is The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.

 

 

 

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