Louisiana Suffers Worst GDP Drop In The South

In the first quarter of 2022, Louisiana’s GDP contracted the most of any southern state. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that Louisiana’s GDP contracted 4.3%. That is far lower than the 1.6% drop in the national GDP.

From Baton Rouge Business Report:

Louisiana’s real gross domestic product decreased at an annual rate of 4.3 percent during the first quarter of this year, a larger drop than the national GDP, which decreased at an annual rate of 1.6% during the first three months of 2022.

According to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP decreased in 46 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of 2022. The percent change in real GDP ranged from a 1.2% increase in New Hampshire to a 9.7% decrease in Wyoming.

Neighboring Texas’ output decreased at a 2.3% annual rate in the first quarter, and Mississippi’s GDP dropped by 1.3%.

Part of the problem is that over John Bel Edwards’s two terms as governor, Louisiana has utterly failed to diversify its economy beyond just energy and tourism. If you click the article link, you see that the states that had bigger drops in GDP than Louisiana are mostly energy-producing states.

But the problem is that Louisiana’s political class is more interested in growing the state government than actually growing the state’s economy. That leaves the state vulnerable to anti-energy federal administrations like the current Biden administration.

In addition, the heavy reliance on the state to tourism makes Louisiana more vulnerable in economic downturns, as it appears we are about to experience. One of the things that gets cut out when families have to tighten their wallets is going on vacations. Not to mention, most of the state’s tourism is focused on New Orleans and much of that depends on the national perception of the city, which isn’t very good right now.

In 2023, Louisiana needs new leadership that is more focused on growing the state’s economy instead of the state government.

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