BEA Releases Updated U.S. GDP by Region

Written by Peter Wright

U.S. gross domestic product grew in every region of the country in last year’s second and fourth quarters, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

The BEA introduced a new data set for GDP by state and region in 2014 and backdated it to Q1 2005. This week, the data was updated through Q4 2017. Even though this might be considered historically “old,” we think it’s worth reporting because it’s the foundation for where we are now. The data is published quarterly and is reported in chained 2009 dollars seasonally adjusted. Steel Market Update analyzes the data and reports to subscribers quarterly by region. Data and graphs for an individual state are available on request.

Table 1 shows the growth of regional GDP in chained 2009 dollars quarter over quarter. (These numbers are not annualized as is the case for published reports of the growth of national GDP.) In the second and fourth quarters of 2017, every region had positive growth.

The BEA produces a map of the United States showing quarter-over-quarter growth by state within each region. Included here as Figure 1 is the map for Q4 2017 extracted from the BEA website. This will enable readers to see how their individual states progressed between Q3 2017 and Q4 2017. Texas had the highest growth rate at 5.2 percent and North Dakota the lowest at negative 1.1 percent.  

Regions as defined by the BEA are as follows:

New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.

Mid East: Delaware, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.

Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin.

Plains: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.

South East: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia.

South West: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Rocky Mountain: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming.

Far West: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the South West had the highest growth rate at 1.1 percent. The Plains and the Mid East had the lowest at 0.3 percent. 

In addition to this report of regional GDP, we publish a quarterly report of regional job creation. Our intention with these two reports is to help subscribers compare their own corporate results with the overall business economy in their region. Figure 2 shows subscribers an example of the graphs available on request for individual regions and states. This example shows the results for the Far West region, which now has an annual economic output in excess of $3.3 trillion.

The U.S. values in this report are different and lower than the official report published in National Income and Product Account (NIPA) reports partly because the GDP-by-state numbers exclude federal military and civilian activity located overseas (because it cannot be attributed to a particular state). In addition, the official quarterly report of national GDP is annualized, which increases the value by a factor of four.

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