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Boston Area's Economic Growth Slowed Last Year

BOSTON — Economic growth in the Boston metro area, a broadly defined region that stretches south of the city and north into New Hampshire, slowed last year when compared with 2012 figures, a new estimate finds.

Greater Boston's economy grew 1.6 percent in 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Tuesday morning. The metro area expanded a revised 2.5 percent the year before.

The slowdown in Boston area growth mirrored a national decline. "Collectively," the BEA said in its release, "real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 1.7 percent in 2013 after increasing 2.6 percent in 2012."

Though growth in Greater Boston dipped last year, it still outpaced the average among New England's 15 metropolitan regions, which was 1.3 percent.

In Massachusetts, the Worcester metro area led economic expansion in 2013. Powered by wholesale trade, it grew 2.6 percent last year, according to the initial BEA estimate. That's a pickup from the year before: The area's economy expanded 0.5 percent in 2012.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts, the Barnstable Town metro (Cape Cod) saw its real gross domestic product increase 1 percent in 2013. The Providence metro area, which includes parts of southeastern Massachusetts, had a GDP increase of 1.3 percent. And Springfield's metro expanded 0.6 percent last year, after growing 2.7 percent in 2012.

The Pittsfield metro area, in western Massachusetts, saw its economy contract 1 percent in 2013 — the second straight year of contraction there.

The local GDP figures are subject to further revision. (Here, for instance, is how the 2012 data was initially reported last year.)

Check out this map to see how all the nation’s metros fared in 2013.

Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital manager. He occasionally reports on economic and transportation policy, climate and social issues, and politics.

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