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BEA data shows steep declines in state GDP in Q2 of 2020

October 15, 2020

The depth of the recession is coming into clearer view with the recent release of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for the second quarter of 2020. A press release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that real GDP decreased by double digits in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.; ranging from a 42.2 percent drop in Hawaii and Nevada to a 20.4 percent drop in the District of Columbia. The release also details the industry contributions to state GDP declines in the second quarter. The accommodation and food services industry GDP decreased by 88.4 percent nationally, decreased in every state, and was the leading contributor to GDP loss in 17 states. The healthcare and social assistance industry decreased by 48.1 percent nationally, decreased in every state, and was the leading contributor to GDP loss in 18 states.

As seen in the interactive map below, many states experienced minor quarterly declines in GDP over the five previous quarters. Starting in the first quarter of 2020, as the impacts of the pandemic were beginning to be felt, GDP declined by single digits in every state except Delaware (-11.4 percent), Louisiana (-11.9 percent), and Wyoming (-10.5 percent). However, every state experienced double digit declines in the second quarter of 2020. The worst of the declines were in Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, New England, Nevada, and Tennessee. Other areas — most of the central U.S., the West Coast, and parts of the Atlantic coast and the Southeast —weathered the storm better.

While GDP provides one measure for how the economy is faring, such a far-reaching event as the Coronavirus pandemic will create challenges in appropriately applying economic data as recovery efforts continue.