Feds: Connecticut economy cools in Q1

July 24, 2018 GMT

Connecticut’s economy lost steam in the first quarter of 2018, according to new federal estimates, though still representing a marked improvement from a year earlier.

Between January and March, Connecticut’s gross domestic product and services increased 1.6 percent to $268.5 billion, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis determined, level with New Jersey for the second best GDP increase in the Northeast after Vermont.

Connecticut ranked in the top half of states nationally, with BEA calculating an overall 1.8 percent increase in first-quarter GDP led by a 3.6 percent gain in the state of Washington.

Connecticut’s financial, insurance and real estate sectors made the biggest contribution to the state’s first-quarter gains, followed by the information domain that includes digital industries.

Among states nationally, only Washington, Colorado and New York saw bigger gains in the finance arena than Connecticut, despite significant job losses the past few years at UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland in Stamford, and the divestment of large chunks of Norwalk-based GE Capital by General Electric.

GDP contracted the most in Connecticut’s government and the utilities sectors, with entertainment and recreation also dropping despite overall improving consumer confidence nationally and “fairly robust” tourism activity this summer in the New York region, in the words of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman