Capping a week in which Governor Cuomo touted his “successful economic agenda,” newly released federal estimates show New York’s economy barely grew at all during the third quarter of 2019, ranking near the bottom of a 50-state list.

Adjusted for inflation, the Empire State’s gross domestic product was up just 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis—far below the national growth rate of 2.1 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. As shown in the map below, the only states with slower growth were Delaware (0.0 percent), Hawaii (0.4 percent) and West Virginia (rounding to the same 0.5 percent as New York).

New York also under-performed BEA’s five-state (plus District of Columbia) Mideast region, where growth averaged 1.2 percent, as well as neighboring New England, which matched the national growth rate of 2.1 percent. The five Great Lakes states, which economically share much in common with upstate New York, also had average growth of 2.1 percent.


On a sector-by-sector basis, New York notably diverged from the national trend in manufacturing, which contributed 0.47 percentage points to the U.S. GDP growth. In New York, manufacturing industries contributed just 0.11 percentage points. But the main reason for New York’s weak relative performance was in the crucial finance and insurance sector, which subtracted 1.28 percentage points from economic output. The finance and insurance contribution to GDP also declined nationally, but by a much lower rate of 0.42 percent.

The latest BEA estimates also indicate that, on an annual basis, New York’s Real GDP growth in 2018 was 1.2 percent, less than half the national growth of 2.9 percent. New York ranked 45th out of 50 states for the year.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is a senior fellow at the Empire Center.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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