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Report: Mass. Economy Grows Slower Than U.S. In 3Q

BOSTON — A new report finds the Massachusetts economy slowed sharply in the third quarter.

According to the economic journal MassBenchmarks, the state’s real gross domestic product grew by 1.9 percent from July-September, placing it slightly below the nation’s growth rate of 2 percent, as reported by the U.S. Commerce Department Friday.

The Massachusetts economy grew at revised annual rates of 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in the first two quarters of the year.

Friday’s report noted that payroll employment growth slowed from 1.6 percent in the second quarter to just 0.2 percent in the third, and the state’s unemployment rate climbed a half percentage point in the latest quarter.

Analysts have pointed to weak demand in the information technology sector and European economic woes as factors behind the state’s sluggish performance in recent months.

And Alan Clayton-Matthews, a MassBenchmarks editor and Northeastern University economist, said the state’s economy will likely stay at the sluggish level for the next six months.

“Net hiring will be very weak to non-existent,” Clayton-Matthews said, “but doesn’t mean that we’re going to go into a recession. I think that’s highly unlikely.”

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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