Gov. Phil Murphy often says that the state lags behind the rest of the country in economic growth and job creation, and newly published federal data shows New Jersey still hovering in that territory at 48th place.
According to the federal Bureau of Economic Analyses, New Jersey’s gross domestic product during the second quarter of 2019 – April 1 to June 30 – grew among the slowest of all 50 states, beating only Maine and Hawaii.
During the quarter, New Jersey’s GDP grew 0.7 percent, while Maine’s and Hawaii’s each grew 0.5 percent. In front of the Garden State were Connecticut, Indiana and Kentucky, whose GDP all grew by 1 percent.
The gross domestic product is the combined monetary value of all goods and services produced by any one country or state in a given period of time, typically a year or three-month quarter.
“Wholesale trade,” in which goods are purchased in bulk, then stored in large quantities and later sold to individual businesses, was the slowest in Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey, hence the states’ slow growth, according to the BEA, which is an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The average growth rate in the United States was 2 percent, and the highest growth of any state was Texas, where GDP grew 4.7 percent. Following Texas was Wyoming which grew 4.2 percent and then Alaska and New Mexico, which both grew 4.1 percent.
“The second quarter performance sustains a weak trend. Over the last four quarters, the state’s economy, by this measure, grew only 1.3 percent, ranking us 37th,” reads a Nov. 7 statement from Charles Steindel, an analyst for the conservative think tank the Garden State Initiative.
GSI has been highly critical of what it argues are cumbersome taxes and regulations for businesses trying to operate in New Jersey.
“In sum, the latest GDP figures for New Jersey were quite disappointing,” Steindel continued.