The state’s economy started off 2019 relatively strong, as Louisiana’s gross domestic product in the first quarter grew at a rate higher than that of the nation.
Louisiana’s GDP grew 3.8% in the first three months of the year, while the U.S. as a whole saw a 3.1% increase, according to a report released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. All states reported a growing economy in the first quarter, ranging from a high of 5.2% in West Virginia to a low of 1.2% in Hawaii.
Industries that saw the most growth in Louisiana’s first quarter were nondurable goods manufacturing, up 2.09%; retail trade, up 0.82%; and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, up 0.8%. The construction industry in Louisiana, however, fell 0.45%.
Nationwide, the leading contributors to GDP growth in the first quarter were finance and insurance, retail trade, health care and social assistance. Mining was also a top contributor in the three fastest-growing states—West Virginia, Texas and New Mexico.
Louisiana has enjoyed several consecutive quarters of GDP growth in recent years, though often below the national average. The Louisiana economy grew slightly in 2018, with an annual GDP increase of 1.1%, and in 2017, with an increase of 0.1%.
Despite the slow growth, any uptick is still a far better showing than prior years when Louisiana’s economy shrunk. The state’s GDP fell 0.2% in 2015 and 1.2% in 2016, according to the BEA reports.