Report Shows Strong Growth For Mass. Economy

By Galen Moore, Boston Business Journal

BOSTON (CBS) – Failing growth in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has renewed talk of a double-dip recession, but the economic growth engine in Massachusetts continues to chug along, according to a report published Friday by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

According to the institute, the Bay State’s real gross state product grew at an estimated annual rate of 4.3 percent during the second quarter of 2011.

During the same period, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an anemic annual rate of 1.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported.

If the institute’s estimate is accurate, Massachusetts’ growth has outpaced the nation for four consecutive quarters, the report notes.

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal reports

In Q1, the state economy grew at a 2.9 percent annual rate, compared with 0.4 percent for the nation.

The estimated state economic growth rate, called the MassBenchmarks Leading Economic Index, is published in the Donahue Institute’s journal, MassBenchmarks, in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

It takes into account 10 factors, including Bloomberg LP’s Massachusetts stock index, sales taxes, the state unemployment rate and consumer confidence surveys.

“It is possible that the payroll survey may be overstating employment growth, and that therefore our estimate of state economic growth may be too high — perhaps by as much as one percentage point,” said Alan Clayton-Matthews, an associate professor of economics and public policy at Northeastern University, who is an editor at MassBenchmarks.


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