Home > Gross Domestic Product by State, 3nd Quarter 2015
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Retail Trade Led Growth Across States in the Third Quarter

Gross Domestic Product by State, 3rd quarter 2015

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 47 states and the District of Columbia in the third quarter of 2015, according to statistics on the geographic breakout of GDP released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Overall, U.S. real GDP by state growth slowed to an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015 after increasing 3.8 percent in the second quarter. Retail trade; health care and social assistance; and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting were the leading contributors to real U.S. economic growth in the third quarter.

Map of US
  • Retail trade grew 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2015. This industry contributed 0.41 percentage point to U.S. real GDP growth and contributed to growth in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Nevada was the lone exception. Retail trade was the leading contributor to growth in 13 states and contributed 0.63 percentage point to real GDP growth in Arizona and 0.62 percentage point to real GDP growth in Washington.
  • Health care and social assistance grew 5.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015. This industry contributed 0.39 percentage point to U.S. real GDP growth and contributed to growth in 49 states and the District of Columbia. North Dakota was the lone exception. Health care and social assistance contributed more than half a percentage point to real GDP growth in Maine, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Indiana.
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting grew 37.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015. This industry contributed 0.36 percentage point to real GDP growth for the nation and was the largest contributor to real GDP growth in the Plains region. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting contributed 6.91 percentage points to real GDP growth in South Dakota, 5.41 percentage points to growth in Kansas, and 4.79 percentage points to growth in Nebraska.

Other highlights

  • South Dakota, the fastest growing state in the nation, grew 9.2 percent in the third quarter of 2015. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting was the largest contributor to the states growth.
  • Wholesale trade declined 5.8 percent in the third quarter after an increase in the second quarter of 2015. This industry subtracted 0.36 percentage point from U.S. real GDP growth and subtracted from growth in every state and the District of Columbia.
  • Mining declined 8.3 percent for the nation in the third quarter of 2015. This industry slowed growth in most mining states and subtracted more than a percentage point from real GDP growth in North Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Tables 1–3 (Excel) show these results in more detail; complete detail is available on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov.

The next quarterly GDP by state release is scheduled for June 14, 2016 and will cover the fourth quarter of 2015 in addition to annual 2015 (advance) statistics.

Please note: BEA plans to accelerate the release of GDP by state statistics for the first quarter of 2016 to July 27 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) from September 7, as originally scheduled.


Explanatory Notes

Definitions. GDP by state is the state counterpart of the Nation's gross domestic product (GDP), the Bureau's featured and most comprehensive measure of U.S. economic activity. GDP by state is derived as the sum of the GDP originating in all the industries in a state.

The statistics of real GDP by state are prepared in chained (2009) dollars. Real GDP by state is an inflation-adjusted measure of each state's gross product that is based on national prices for the goods and services produced within that state. The statistics of real GDP by state and quantity indexes with a reference year of 2009 were derived by applying national chain-type price indexes to the current-dollar values of GDP by state for the 21 NAICS-based industry sectors.

The chain-type index formula that is used in the national accounts is then used to calculate the values of total real GDP by state and real GDP by state at more aggregated industry levels. Real GDP by state may reflect a substantial volume of output that is sold to other states and countries. To the extent that a state's output is produced and sold in national markets at relatively uniform prices (or sold locally at national prices), real GDP by state captures the differences across states that reflect the relative differences in the mix of goods and services that the states produce. However, real GDP by state does not capture geographic differences in the prices of goods and services that are produced and sold locally.

Relation of GDP by State to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). An industry's GDP by state, or its value added, in practice, is calculated as the sum of incomes earned by labor and capital and the costs incurred in the production of goods and services. That is, it includes the wages and salaries that workers earn, the income earned by individual or joint entrepreneurs as well as by corporations, and business taxes such as sales, property, and Federal excise taxes--that count as a business expense.

GDP is calculated as the sum of what consumers, businesses, and government spend on final goods and services, plus investment and net foreign trade. In theory, incomes earned should equal what is spent, but due to different data sources, the measurement of income earned, usually referred to as gross domestic income (GDI), does not always equal the measurement of what is spent (GDP). The difference is referred to as the "statistical discrepancy."

GDP by state for the U.S. differs from the GDP in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) and thus from the Annual Industry Accounts' GDP by industry, because the U.S. GDP by state excludes federal military and civilian activity located overseas, which cannot be attributed to a particular state.

BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov. By visiting the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.