Louisiana’s gross domestic product grew by 4.3% in the second quarter of 2018, outpacing the national average of 4.2%, and marking the second straight quarter of growth for the state after a two-year slump.
All 50 states saw their GDP rate increase in the second quarter, ranging from a high of 6% in Texas to a low of 2.5% in Delaware, according to a report released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Louisiana’s GDP growth ranked 12th nationally, ahead of southern neighbors Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia, according to the report, but behind Arkansas and Florida.
“Today’s announcement from the federal government is further proof that Louisiana’s economy is trending in the right direction,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards in an emailed statement. “We have come a long way over the last three years, but there is no question that our state is doing much better.”
The national GDP—a major economic indicator that measures the value of all goods and services produced in a defined area—grew by 4.2% in the second quarter of 2018, the fastest rise in nearly four years, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
Louisiana GDP is up for the second straight quarter. The state posted a growth rate of 4.7% in the first quarter of 2018, revised from earlier estimates of 2.3%. The trend signals an economic turnaround for Louisiana, which last year posted the slowest GDP growth rate in the nation, with an annual decline of 0.2%, following a 0.4% decline the year prior.
“The good news is we’re not negative anymore,” says local economist Loren Scott. “We emerged from a 28-month recession in the fourth quarter of 2017. We’re growing, but it’s weird, bifurcated growth in the sense that the Houma and Lafayette oil and gas industry is not doing so well, whereas Lake Charles and Baton Rouge economies are doing very well.”
Louisiana industries that saw the most growth in the second quarter were real estate, rental and leasing; professional, scientific and technical services; utilities; and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, which rebounded after a drop in the first quarter.