Report: Mass. economy grew 4.9% in 2Q, outpacing U.S. growth
THE MASSACHUSETTS ECONOMY grew 4.9 percent in the second quarter, a rate higher than the national GDP growth rate for the same period of 4 percent, according to local economy journal MassBenchmarks. Looking ahead, MassBenchmarks projected a 3.8 percent GDP growth rate for the next six months.
HADLEY, Mass. – Real gross domestic product in Massachusetts grew at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the second quarter, reversing the economy’s contraction in the first quarter and outpacing U.S. economic growth for the same period, local economy journal MassBenchmarks reported in its Current Economic Index Wednesday.
Both Massachusetts and the United States bounced back from a weak first quarter, when the Bay State’s economy shrank three-tenths of a percent, according to the most recent data. The national GDP grew at a rate of 4 percent for the three months ended June 30, after shrinking 2.1 percent from January through March.
Among specific economic indicators, payroll employment in Massachusetts grew 1.7 percent in the second quarter, a gain on 1.2 percent growth in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate fell from 6.3 percent in March to 5.5 percent in June, and spending on products tied to state regular sales and motor vehicle sales taxes improved from 6.1 percent growth in the first quarter to 7.4 percent growth in the second quarter.
Although wage and salary incomes declined at an annual rate of 11.6 percent in the second quarter compared with an increase of 15 percent in the first quarter, the MassBenchmarks editorial team said the decline “does not necessarily imply a drop in regular earnings but rather it likely reflects the strong wage and salary income growth over the previous two quarters … due to bonuses and other non-regular lump-sum wage payments.”
The report’s Leading Economic Index, which forecasts the annual rate of economic growth over the next six months, predicted an annual growth rate of 3.8 percent between July 2014 and December 2014.