Connecticut's economy grew for a third consecutive quarter in the first three months of 2019, led by the finance and insurance, retail trade, and healthcare sectors.

The state's GDP expanded 2.2% in the first quarter of this year after growing 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 3.3% in the previous three months.

GDP growth 2018-19

Connecticut's economy grew 1% overall in 2018, expanding for just the second time in the last 11 years.

The six New England states averaged 2.5% growth in the first quarter of 2019 while national GDP grew 3.1% according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Massachusetts led the region with 2.7% quarterly GDP growth, good for 33rd in the country.

Maine's economy expanded 2.6%, followed by New Hampshire (2.6%), Vermont (2.5%), Connecticut, and Rhode Island (2.2%).

At $282 billion, Connecticut's annual GDP represents 25% of New England's economy, second only to Massachusetts, which accounts for 52% of the region's $1.11 trillion GDP.

Positive Sign

The finance and insurance sector—a critical component of Connecticut's economy—led all sectors in the first quarter, posting robust 1.09% growth.

That's a positive sign for the sector and the state's economy, as it was the slowest performing of all sectors last year, shrinking 0.79%.

Retail trade grew 0.45% in the first three months of the year, followed by healthcare (0.45%), nondurable goods manufacturing (0.23%), and professional, scientific, and technical services (0.19%).

Finance and insurance led all sectors in the first quarter, posting robust 1.09% growth.

The state's three leading sectors also led national economic growth for the quarter. Retail trade expanded 11.9%, finance and insurance 9.5%, and healthcare 6.2%, contributing to growth in all 50 states.

Real estate was Connecticut's worst performing sector for the first quarter, contracting 0.22% after being among the leading sectors in the previous quarter.

The government sector shrank 0.14%, followed by wholesale trade (-0.11%), administrative and support (-0.11%), and other services (-0.08%).

Fastest, Slowest Economies

At 5.2%, West Virginia had the hottest economy of any state in the quarter, driven largely by 2.16% growth in the mining sector.

The Texas economy expanded 5.1%, followed by New Mexico (4.6%), Utah (4.2%), and Nevada (4%).

Hawaii's economy grew 1.2%, the slowest of any state, with Maryland (1.8%), New Jersey (1.8%), Mississippi (1.9%), and Rhode Island rounding out the bottom five.