Wisconsin economic growth slowed in 2017, despite strong second half

GDP growth of 3.1% ranked 8th nationally in Q4

Economic indicators

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:07 am

A strong second half was not enough to overcome a slow start to the year and Wisconsin’s economic growth slowed slightly in 2017, according to new data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Economic indicators

Wisconsin’s real gross domestic product increased 1.7 percent in 2017, compared to a 1.9 percent increase in both 2016 and 2015.

The state did grow at an annualized rate of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the strongest in the Midwest and eighth best nationally. Texas had the best growth rate at 5.2 percent. Wisconsin’s performance was an improvement over a 1.2 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2016.

An annualized growth rate of 7.5 percent in the third quarter combined with the strong finish to offset 0.7 percent growth in the first quarter and a 0.9 percent contraction in the second quarter.

For the year, durable goods manufacturing made the strongest contribution to the state’s growth, accounting for 0.41 percentage points of the 1.7 percent increase. Wholesale trade, nondurable goods manufacturing, real estate and health care were also among the top contributors to growth.

Agriculture and forestry, management of companies and mining were the three sectors that contracted for the year.

Durable goods also led the fourth quarter growth, contributing 0.83 percentage points. Nondurable goods and wholesale trade both added 0.47 points each, management of companies contributed 0.37 and real estate added 0.34 points.

Finance and insurance was a 0.66 point drag on growth while government, accommodations and food service, education and agriculture and forestry all contracted slightly.

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page. 

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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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