Despite Q3 uptick, Wisconsin’s economic growth still among the slowest

Economic indicators

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:31 pm

Wisconsin’s real gross domestic product grew at a 1.5% annualized rate in the third quarter, an improvement from the 1.1% growth rate in the first and second quarters.

Despite the improvement, the state’s economic growth ranked 39th in the country, up from 43rd in the second quarter.

The slow growth marks four straight quarters with growth at or below 1.5%. The state grew at a 1.4% rate in the fourth quarter of 2018 and even the original estimates put first quarter growth at 2.9%, that figure was revised down.

Finance and insurance and utilities durable goods manufacturing were the two sectors providing the biggest drag on the economy, pushing growth down 0.51 and 0.27 percentage points respectively. Durable goods manufacturing cut into growth by 0.12 percentage points

Nondurable goods manufacturing, on the other hand, contributed a 0.53-point boost to growth and retail trade added 0.48 points. Information, professional, scientific and technical services and management of companies each added 0.25 percentage points to growth.

Wisconsin’s growth was generally in the middle-of-the-pack across the Midwest. Missouri led the way with 2.4% growth followed by Indiana and Nebraska at 2.3%, Kansas at 2.2% and Minnesota at 2%.

Illinois at 1.4%, Iowa and Michigan at 1.3% and North Dakota at 1.1% were behind Wisconsin.

The strongest growth in the quarter was in Texas at 4% while Delaware was the worst with zero growth.


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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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