GSI Analysis Q3 2021 GDP: New Jersey’s Real GDP Grew Markedly in the Third Quarter - Garden State Initiative

GSI Analysis Q3 2021 GDP: New Jersey’s Real GDP Grew Markedly in the Third Quarter

Public Spending, Economic Opportunity for All, Labor

GSI Analysis Q3 2021 GDP: New Jersey’s Real GDP Grew Markedly in the Third Quarter

December 23, 2021

  • 3.7% rate of growth ranked 4th in U.S.

  • Growth in technical and support services were notable

MORRISTOWN, NJ – On December 23rd, the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis issued its report on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State for the 3rd Quarter of 2021, covering July through September. Dr. Charles Steindel, former Chief Economist of the New Jersey Treasury, analyzed the report for GSI: 

As was suggested last week by the personal income report, New Jersey’s real GDP grew at a healthy pace in the third quarter. Our 3.7% growth rate was a good deal higher than the nation’s 2.3%. We ranked a strong 4th in the nation (5th if DC is counted as a state); the only states higher were smaller than us: Hawaii, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Our other neighbors were substantively softer: both Pennsylvania and New York had 2.2% growth rates, and Connecticut’s was 2.7%. The estimated level of real GDP in the third quarter was slightly larger than the figure for the third quarter of 2019; that means New Jersey’s real GDP set a new peak in the third quarter.

A state’s GDP growth is an aggregate of the growth of industry outputs within its borders. Major sectors in which the growth contribution in New Jersey exceeded that of the nation include professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative support and waste management and remediation services (a wide variety of basic support services for businesses and households). While construction contracted here, as was the care in every other state, our drop was substantially smaller than in most other places. Interestingly, our relative strong overall performance occurred in spite of our gains in leisure activity falling short of the nation’s.

There is little awareness of how large New Jersey’s economy is. New Jersey’s current-dollar GDP—a measure of the value of all the goods and services produced here—was estimated to be a staggering $686.7 billion (at an annual rate) in the third quarter. Public policy discussions often toss around amounts in the billions of dollars. It’s useful to compare those numbers to the size of current-dollar GDP (and when multi-year estimates of programs and taxes are discussed, it’s worth taking into account the likely multi-year size of GDP.)


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