Connecticut economy ‘moving sideways’

Connecticut economy ‘moving sideways’

Torrington Register-Citizen, June 15, 2016

By Luther Turmelle

Connecticut’s economy, as measured by the total value of goods produced and services provided in the state, during 2015 was half of what it was a year earlier, according to new data released by the federal agency that collects economic statistics.

The real gross domestic product (GDP) data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis also showed that Connecticut’s economic activity for the final three months of last year was better than it was during the same period in 2014. GDP is considered a leading measure of how productive a state or national economy is.

Connecticut’s full-year GDP grew by only 0.6 percent, well behind the 2.4 percent increase achieved by the nation as a whole. It also left Connecticut ranked 43rd out of 50 states in terms of GDP and fourth among the six states in the New England region.

“This an economy that is moving sideways,” said Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist and director of research for New Haven-based DataCore Partners. “The real question we need to be asking is what tools are available to stimulate Connecticut’s economy, where is the organic growth going to come from?”

Connecticut GDP in the fourth quarter of 2015 increased by 1.7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. As result, the state was ranked 23rd in terms of GDP performance in the fourth quarter of last year.

Fourth quarter performance back to top

Connecticut’s fourth-quarter 2015 performance matched the nation’s GDP percentage increase for the same period.

Klepper-Smith cautioned that quarterly economic data can be susceptible to wild swings, but said the benefit of the 1.7 percent growth in the state’s GDP in the fourth quarter of last year was that it saved Connecticut from having an even worse economic performance for the full year.

“We do have some things in our favor,” he said. “The manufacturing sector is holding its own and we’ve seen some tangible growth in business and financial services.”

Connecticut’s biggest areas of GDP growth in the fourth quarter of last year were construction, information services, real estate as well as professional scientific and technical services along with the manufacturing of non-durable goods. The definition non-durable goods is anything that is immediately consumed in one use or products that have a lifespan of less than 3 years.