State’s Economic Growth Weakens in 2014
Connecticut’s economy grew by an anemic 0.6% in 2014 as the gap between the state and regional and national economies widened.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ annual gross domestic product report released this week showed Connecticut’s economy was 42nd among all states and the District of Columbia.
Of the New England states, only Maine (0.2%) showed weaker growth, while Vermont also saw a 0.6% increase in economic output.
Massachusetts’ economy was the region’s strongest last year, growing at a 2.3% clip, for 15th in the country.
New Hampshire also saw 2.3% growth while Rhode Island–until recently a perennial economic straggler–grew twice as fast as Connecticut.
The U.S. economy grew 2.2% last year, up from 1.9% in 2013.
The top 10 states:
- North Dakota (6.3%)
- Texas (5.2%)
- Wyoming (5.1%)
- West Virginia (5.1%)
- Colorado (4.7%)
- Oregon (3.6%)
- Utah (3.1%)
- Washington (3%)
- California (2.9%)
- Oklahoma (2.8%)
The bottom 10 states:
- Alaska (-1.3%)
- Mississippi (-1.2%)
- Virginia (0%)
- Maine (0.2%)
- New Jersey (0.4%)
- Iowa (0.4%)
- Indiana (0.4%)
- Vermont (0.6%)
- Connecticut (0.6%)
- South Dakota (0.6%)
Connecticut’s economy has struggled to rebound from the 2008-2010 recession. The state’s best post-recession year was 2013, when the economy grew a modest 1%, two years after shrinking by -0.9%.
That pattern of weak growth reflects policy decisions made over the last decade that have increased business costs and jeopardized jobs and opportunities for those who work and live in Connecticut.
The massive tax and spending hikes included in the new, two-year $40 billion state budget passed narrowly by the Senate and House of Representatives on June 3 further threaten Connecticut’s economy.
“The budget’s impact will reach into every community in this state and affect employers of every size and kind, from the local machine shop to the midsize office to the multinational corporation,” said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.
“It has already started causing businesses large and small to question the viability of Connecticut as a place in which to do business.
“There is no doubt that Connecticut businesses are focused on succeeding and growing. The question now is where they will grow.
“These decisions will impact employees and their families, the communities they live in, and the worthy causes and civic organizations they support.”
On the day the BEA released its economic report, Indiana ran a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal soliciting a number of Connecticut-based companies that have warned about the negative impact of the budget.
Brennan has requested a meeting with Governor Dannel Malloy and legislative leaders to discuss using the legislature’s pending special session to reopen the budget, delay new spending increases for the next two years, and roll back the tax hikes.
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