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Report: NY State economy grew modestly in 2015

New York State’s economy grew modestly last year, expanding about as much as the 2014 rate, which was revised downward, federal officials said Tuesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the state’s gross domestic product increased 1.4 percent in 2015. That compares to a revised 1.2 percent for 2014.

GDP, the sum of all goods and services produced in New York, totaled $1.27 trillion last year.

Bureau officials said Tuesday much of the state’s growth came from private schools and colleges, which expanded 6.1 percent, year over year; telecommunications, publishing and film production, up 5.7 percent, and construction, up 5.5 percent.

These gains were offset by less activity in utilities, down 4.8 percent, year over year, and finance and insurance, off 1.5 percent.

Gary Keith, a regional economist at M&T Bank, which has operations statewide including on Long Island, said, “New York City’s financial sector appears to have contracted . . . with regulatory pressure to exit risky lines of business and a general decline in trading and deal flow.”

He also said Tuesday that sluggish growth in health care across the state compared with feverish activity nationally shows “the Affordable Care Act appears to be pressuring New York health care providers to hold the line on spending and expansion of services.”

Keith added that health care has been a key driver of job creation “and it will bear close watch to see if this continues.”

Another expert, Robert B. Ward, head of budget and policy analysis for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, said Tuesday the latest GDP figures, together with employment data, “show the state as a whole underperforming, relative to the nation.”

Last year, the United States’ GDP increased 2.4 percent, nearly double that of New York.

However, the state outperformed all of the New England states with the exception of Massachusetts. New Jersey also had higher growth.

New York’s small increase in GDP in 2015 follows the revised growth rates of 1.2 percent in 2014 and 0.2 percent in 2013. The revised 2014 rate came as a surprise because it’s less than half the 2.5 percent that was initially reported by BEA a year ago.

“We pulled in new and revised source data including the 2012 Economic Census data,” which revealed New York’s economy had expanded far more slowly, BEA spokesman Thomas Dail said.

He also said changes in the amount of construction, wholesale trade and financial services activities caused New York’s 2014 growth rate to be reduced.

State GDP was $1.25 trillion in 2014, or about $32 billion less than originally reported.

Dail said many other states also had their 2014 growth rates changed up or down.


The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on Tuesday released annual growth rates for the gross domestic product, the sum of all goods and services produced in an area.

NYS annual GDP increases

2015: 1.4 percent

2014: 1.2 percent

2013: 0.2 percent

US annual GDP increases

2015: 2.4 percent

2014: 2.2 percent

2013: 1.3 percent

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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