Wisconsin’s GDP growth last year was best since 2010

State had second strongest growth in Midwest

Economic indicators

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

Wisconsin’s real gross domestic product grew 2.5% in 2018, the second largest increase in the Midwest and the state’s strongest year of economic growth since 2010.

Economic indicators

The 2018 growth rate marks the first time Wisconsin’s real GDP has increased by more than 2% in a year since 2011. After two years of negative growth in 2008 and 2009, Wisconsin posted 3% growth in 2010 and 2.1% in 2011. From 2012 to 2017, the state averaged 1.3% annual growth.

Wisconsin now ranks 17th in the country last year for economic growth. The U.S. economy as a whole grew 2.9% last year while the Great Lakes region grew 2.2%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The state of Washington had the strongest economic growth at 5.7%, followed by Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Florida.

Among nearby states, Michigan had the strongest growth at 2.7%. Wisconsin outpaced Minnesota, 2.2%, Iowa, 1.4%, Illinois, 2.1%, and Indiana, 1.9%.

Wisconsin started 2018 strong with a 4.9% annualized growth rate in the first quarter, according to the most recent data. Growth slowed to a 1.6% rate in the second quarter before finishing with 2.4% in the third and 2.1% in the fourth quarters.

Manufacturing led Wisconsin’s growth, accounting for 0.97 percentage points of the increase. Nondurable goods manufacturing was responsible for 0.61 percentage points of the increase while nondurable goods made up 0.36.

Wisconsin received the fifth largest contribution from manufacturing to growth of any state. Michigan led the way with the sector providing 1.44 percentage points of growth, followed by Iowa, Oregon and Idaho.

Professional and business services also accounted for a half-point of growth in Wisconsin, while wholesale trade made up 0.41 percentage points. Health and social assistance also added 0.23 percentage points.

Transportation and utilities were both a slight drag on growth in Wisconsin while finance and insurance cut into growth by 0.21 percentage points. Government cut growth by 0.28 percentage points.

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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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