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High-flying Florida GDP downshifts in latest quarter behind 29 other states

Published Mar. 4, 2016

Florida's once soaring gross domestic product fell back to earth in the third quarter of 2015, dropping to a 2 percent growth rate from 5.1 percent in the second quarter of last year, according to new data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Where Florida enjoyed the seventh fastest growing economy among states in the second quarter, slower growth dropped it to 30th in the third quarter. Still, Florida's 2.1 percent growth outpaced the nation's 1.9 percent growth in the quarter.

Florida's GDP in the third quarter rose to $893.2 billion, up from $883.7 billion in the previous quarter and $845.8 billion in the third quarter of 2014. That GDP size ranks Florida fourth in the nation, well behind No. 1 California ($2.4 trillion), No. 2 Texas ($1.6 trillion) and New York ($1.4 trillion).

Close behind Florida in GDP are Illinois ($765 billion), Ohio ($599 billion) and New Jersey ($579 billion). Of those states, only Ohio's economy grew faster than Florida's in the quarter.

In sheer growth, the fastest growing state economy in the third quarter was South Dakota, rising 9.2 percent on the strength of farming. Counterpart North Dakota, which enjoyed stratospheric growth rates during the energy boom, plummeted due to low oil and gas prices with its GDP shrinking 3.4 percent in the quarter. It was the biggest decliner of all 50 states.

Alaska and West Virginia, both energy dependent, were the only other states to join North Dakota with GDP declines in the quarter.

Among the biggest GDP states, California grew 2.1 percent in the third quarter over the second quarter, energy-sensitive Texas barely increased by 0.1 percent and New York rose 0.7 percent.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampbay.com. Follow @ venturetampabay.

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