State’s Economy Expands 7% in Fourth Quarter


Connecticut’s economy was among the hottest in the country in the fourth quarter of 2020, expanding 7% to offset some of the damage from COVID-19 disruptions and restrictions.

Finance and insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing led all sectors for the quarter, with the state’s economy the fourth fastest in the country in that period.

GDP grew in all 50 states in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported March 26 that GDP grew in all 50 states, with the U.S. posting quarterly growth of 4.3%.

New England’s economy grew 4.9% in the quarter, with Connecticut leading the region, followed by Massachusetts (4.7%), New Hampshire (3.8%), Vermont (3.7%), Maine (2.8%), and Rhode Island (2.6%).

South Dakota’s economy grew 9.9% to lead all states, followed by Texas (7.5%), Utah (7.1%), Connecticut, and Tennessee (6.5%).

Michigan saw the slowest growth of the quarter (1.7%), followed by Washington (1.8%), Hawaii (2.1%), New Mexico (2.5%), and Rhode Island.

“The increases in fourth quarter GDP by state reflect both the continued economic recovery from the sharp declines earlier in the year and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including new restrictions and closures that took effect in some areas of the United States,” BEA officials said.

Preliminary 2020 Figures

The BEA also released preliminary GDP figures for all of 2020, estimating that Connecticut’s economy contracted 4.1% last year—34th in the country.

National GDP declined an estimated 3.5% in 2020 while the New England economy shrank 4%.

The Massachusetts economy contracted an estimated 3.8% last year, the smallest decline in the region, followed by Connecticut, Maine (-4.1%), Rhode Island (-4.5%), New Hampshire (-4.7%), and Vermont (-5.4%).

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said it was critical that Connecticut sustain the economic momentum from the fourth quarter.

“Employers are watching policymakers and legislators very closely over the next few months for signals that growth, investment, and job creation are truly a priority for Connecticut,” said.

Based on the BEA’s estimates, Utah’s economy navigated the pandemic the best of all states in 2020, declining 0.1%, followed by Washington (-0.7%), Arizona (-0.9%), Idaho (-1.1%), and Colorado (-1.5%).

Hawaii’s economy was the worst affected last year, with that state’s GDP falling 8%. Wyoming’s GDP declined 7%, followed by Oklahoma (-6.1%), New York (-5.9%), and West Virginia (-5.5%).

Sectors Rebound

Finance and insurance increased 12.9% nationally in the the fourth quarter of 2020, contributing to increases in all 50 states.

The sector was the leading contributor to the increases in 25 states including South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Connecticut, the states with the four largest growth in quarterly GDP.

Connecticut’s finance and insurance sector grew 2.27% in the quarter with output declining an estimated 0.4% for the year.

Connecticut’s finance and insurance sector grew 2.27% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Nondurable goods manufacturing grew 0.7% last quarter (-0.08%), followed by healthcare (0.66%; -0.52%), professional services (0.61%; -0.4%), and durable goods manufacturing (0.59%; -0.11%).

The government (-0.19%), educational services (-0.17%), utilities (-0.16%), and agriculture (-0.06%) were the only Connecticut sectors that declined last quarter.

Based on the fourth quarter report, Connecticut has an annualized GDP of $288.9 billion, 25% of New England’s $1.14 trillion economy, and second behind Massachusetts’ $598.6 billion economy.


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