When you flip the list of economic winners and losers across the United States upside down, the great state of Louisiana is right there on top!  It's nice to imagine for a moment the Bayou State leading the charge for economic growth for the entire country - but that's just not the truth.  Unfortunately, the latest numbers from the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis indicate that Louisiana is at the very bottom of that list for the second year in a row.

While most of the country is enjoying an economic boost (average of 2.1%), Louisiana showed a .2% decline in 2017.  Even though our oil and gas extraction out performed the entire nation, several sectors performed well under expectations.  Refining and chemical industries took a hit, as did transportation and warehousing.

According to the Advocate, some experts claim that the trouble is rooted the states dependence on the energy sector for our economic growth - thus making our forward progress almost completely dependent upon the wildly fluctuating prices common to the energy markets. Greg Albrecht, chief economist at the Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office, thinks that the state is still reeling from the effects of an oil and gas recession and that the answer is diversify the states industries to safeguard our economy in the future.

The good news is: Louisiana may be out of the woods before any plan to do so could take effect.  In 2016, our economy showed a .4% decline.  By 2017, that number had been cut in half, and the last 3 months of the year showed moderate growth.