Connecticut's economy grew 6% in the first quarter of 2021, driven by strong gains in the durable goods manufacturing, finance and insurance, and retail trade sectors.

GDP growth was 34th in the country for the quarter, representing a slight cooling off from the fourth quarter of 2020 when the state's economy expanded 7%, fourth fastest overall.

GDP grew in all 50 states in the first quarter, ranging from 10.9% in Nevada to 4.3% in Texas.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported June 25 that GDP grew in all 50 states in the first quarter, with the U.S. economy expanding 6.4%.

"The increases in first quarter GDP by state reflected the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments, and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic," the agency said in a statement.

The six New England states averaged 6.7% for the quarter, led by New Hampshire, which saw 8.4% growth—third best in the country.

Rhode Island posted 7.2% growth, followed by Massachusetts (6.9%), Vermont (6.1%), Connecticut, and Maine (5.2%).

Momentum

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said the quarterly GDP numbers reflected that the state's recovery from the pandemic continued to show strong momentum.

"First quarter GDP growth was strong, and along with the May employment numbers that were released this week, reflect an economy that is regaining its footing," DiPentima said.

"While we have a long way to go to rebuild Connecticut's economy, a number of factors give me plenty of optimism."

CBIA's Chris DiPentima

"While there's no doubt we have a long way to go to rebuild Connecticut's economy, a number of factors give me plenty of optimism about the future."

DiPentima cited the state's successful vaccination campaign, the May 19 lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, and the just-completed General Assembly session—which avoided broad-based tax hikes—among those factors.

Sectors

Based on the first quarter report, Connecticut has an annualized GDP of $294.5 billion, 25% of New England's $1.16 trillion economy, and second behind Massachusetts' $598.6 billion economy.

Connecticut's durable goods manufacturing sector grew 1.3% to lead all sectors for the quarter. Nationally, the sector expanded 15.6%, and was the leading contributor in 24 states.

Connecticut's durable goods manufacturing sector grew 1.3% to lead all sectors for the quarter.

Finance and insurance grew 0.93%, with retail trade (0.77%), professional services (0.72%), information (0.62%), administrative services (0.54%), real estate (0.39%), management (0.3%), educational services (0.25%), and construction (0.25%) rounding out the top 10.

Nondurable goods manufacturing declined 0.48%, the worst of the five state sectors that contracted in the quarter.

Other services shrank 0.13%, followed by healthcare (-0.1%), utilities (-0.08%), and agriculture (-0.06%).

Best, Worst States

Nevada's economy was the fastest growing of any state in the first quarter, expanding 10.9% amid strong gains in accommodation and food services and retail trade.

Utah's GDP grew 9.2%, with New Hampshire, West Virginia (8.2%), and Colorado (7.9%) completing the top five states.

Nevada's economy was the fastest growing of any state in the first quarter, expanding 10.9%.

Texas posted the slowest GDP growth of the quarter, with that state's economy expanding 4.3%.

New Mexico's economy grew 4.5%, with Hawaii (4.5%), Oklahoma (4.5%), and Louisiana (4.7%) rounding out the bottom five.