Wisconsin economy’s 3rd quarter growth ranks 29th

Manufacturing shines while ag sector slumps

Economic indicators

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:20 am

Wisconsin’s real gross domestic product grew at a 2.8 percent annualized rate in the third quarter of 2018, the second straight quarter of near 3 percent growth but below the pace set by the national economy, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The data was originally scheduled for release in late January but was delayed by the government shutdown.

Wisconsin’s growth in the third quarter was the 29th strongest in the country. The state of Washington led the country at 5.8 percent, followed by Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho.

Among nearby states, Iowa and Indiana outpaced Wisconsin with 3.3 and 3 percent growth respectively during the quarter. Michigan tied Wisconsin at 2.8 percent while Minnesota at 2.7 percent and Illinois at 2.5 percent were slightly behind Wisconsin Q3 growth rate.

Roughly a quarter of Wisconsin’s growth came from the manufacturing sector which itself grew at a 3.8 percent rate. The sector saw growth from both durable and nondurable manufacturing.

Wholesale and retail trade grew at 6.3 and 6.2 percent respectively and accounted for another quarter of Wisconsin’s growth. Other sectors making significant contributions included finance and insurance, health care and social assistance, information and construction.

The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector was the one area with a major drop, making a negative contribution of 0.22 percentage points to the state’s overall growth. The sector shrunk by 16.5 percent at an annualized rate in the quarter.

The real GDP for the ag sector dropped by $648 million between the third quarters of 2017 and 2018 to a $5.58 billion annualized level. The sector has dropped $1.13 billion since 2016 and $1.58 billion since 2015. Only nine states have seen an ag sector compound annual growth rate worse than Wisconsin’s 8 percent drop since the third quarter of 2015.

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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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