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NY economy rose sharply in 3rd quarter after shutdown's steep decline

Retail bumped up 2.79% in New York in

Retail bumped up 2.79% in New York in the third quarter; above Karen McGuigan of Wantagh during a shopping appointment at Uniquely Yours in Seaford in July. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

New York’s economy bounced back in the July-September period as businesses shuttered by the pandemic reopened, though the amount of activity was still down $73 billion from last year, new data show.

The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reported New York’s gross domestic product, or GDP, rose 30.3% in the third quarter compared with the second quarter of April-June. GDP is the sum of all goods and services produced in an area for an entire year.

The pick-up came after New York’s GDP fell 36.3% in April-June, among the steepest declines in the country, according to the data.

The state's recovery also is slower than the nation’s. The U.S. economy expanded 33.4% in July-September — three percentage points faster than New York.

"The increase in third-quarter GDP reflected continued efforts to reopen businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to COVID-19," the bureau said.

The same was true locally.

"What we see at the New York State level also holds for the Long Island area," said John A. Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association business group and a Stony Brook University professor.

He and others said the sectors that grew the most in July through September across the state – health care/social services and hotels/restaurants – are key contributors to the Island’s economy.

Still, Rizzo said on Wednesday the virus-induced recession remains. "The 30% growth was off the smaller base," he said, referring to the size of the state's economy shrinking between the January-March period and April-June.

The bureau said the size of New York's economy is now $1.7 trillion based on July-September GDP, up from a projected $1.6 trillion based on the previous quarter. In January-March, the economy was said to be $1.8 trillion.

Rizzo said the state and local economies have continued to expand since September "but certainly at a slower rate."

Nationwide, every state and the District of Columbia saw more business activity in July-September. The biggest gains were in Nevada, 52.2%, and Tennessee, 46.5%.

New York’s "science-based approach" to slowing the virus’ spread "made it possible to reopen much of the economy, producing expected growth," said Robert Mujica, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget director. "That said, we continue to face significant hurdles and while some sectors of the economy have bounced back or even thrived, other sectors saw significant job losses and remain severely impacted."

The utilities sector continued to contract in July-September while the agriculture, educational services, nondurable goods manufacturing and government sectors all saw growth under 1%.

Mujica said on Wednesday the economic recovery will stall without additional federal aid to state and local governments, which have lost billions of dollars in revenue. "The federal government needs to take responsibility and deliver the funding that states need to keep growing their economies," he said.


The state's gross domestic product rose 30.3% in the July-September period compared with April-June. Here are the sectors that grew the most:

Heath care and social services: +4.57%

Hotels and restaurants: +3.54%

Retailers: +2.79%

Wholesalers: +2.18%

Construction: +2.13%

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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