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New York State economy grew at slowest pace in 3 years

The state GDP, the sum of all goods

The state GDP, the sum of all goods and services produced in New York, totaled $1.5 trillion last year. Credit: James Carbone

New York State’s economy grew last year at its slowest rate since 2013, federal officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the state’s gross domestic product increased 0.8 percent in 2016. That compares with 1.2 percent in 2015 and 1.8 percent in 2014.

The economy contracted in 2013, shrinking 0.3 percent.

New York’s GDP, the sum of all goods and services produced in the state, totaled $1.5 trillion last year.

Bureau officials said Thursday much of the state’s growth came from three sectors: information; real estate; and the professional, scientific and technical services sector.

However, these gains were partially offset by declines in the finance and insurance sector and nondurable-goods manufacturing.

New York’s 2016 growth rate was about half that of the nation, which was 1.5 percent — also the slowest since 2013. The state ranked 38th out of the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Critics of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s economic development programs seized on the GDP report on Thursday.

“To spark the economy, we must fix systemic problems and improve our worst-in-the-nation tax burden and second-worst business tax environment,” said Douglas Kellogg, a spokesman for Reclaim New York, an activist group with conservative donors.

Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said the governor had persuaded the State Legislature to lower personal income taxes for middle-class residents to their lowest level in 70 years and to reduce the corporate tax rate to its lowest level since 1968. The tax rate for manufacturers is the lowest since 1917, Azzopardi said.

He blamed New York’s slow economic growth on high-earning stockbrokers and other investment professionals in the metropolitan region who “shifted income from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017 in anticipation of a federal tax cut” under President Donald Trump.

Nationally, Washington State had the fastest-growing economy last year with GDP up 3.7 percent. The worst performance was by North Dakota, whose economy shrank 6.5 percent.

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