The state’s economy remained mired at the rear of the national pack in the first quarter of this year, with a 1.8 percent growth in real gross domestic product, according to statistics released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The lackluster expansion in the key economic measure — the change in the market value of goods and services produced by labor and property in a state — landed New Jersey in 48th position, behind such states as Mississippi (1.9 percent), Idaho (2.7) and Kentucky (2.5). The rate of growth in the Garden State also fell well short of its neighbors, New York (3.8), Pennsylvania (2.9) and Delaware (3.9).
Only Maryland (also 1.8) and Hawaii (1.2) had slower growth than New Jersey. At the top end of the spectrum was West Virginia, where the measure was up a robust 5.2 percent, and Texas, up 5.1 percent. Nationally, GDP increased by 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019.
The news for New Jersey is a continuation of a troubling trend. Its growth for all of 2018 was measured at 2 percent, well shy of the national rate of a 2.9-percent rise in GDP.