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Mass. Economy Outpaces Nation's In Second Quarter

The Massachusetts economy grew at an annual rate of 3 percent during the second quarter of this year, according to preliminary estimates released Friday by UMass and Boston Fed economists.

Earlier Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department said the nation's economy expanded at an annual rate of just 1.2 percent during the same three months.

The Massachusetts economy also outpaced the nation's in the first quarter of 2016.

Take the growth figures with a few grains of salt, though: The figures are subject to revision as more information on the state of the economy comes in.

Friday's Massachusetts report — called MassBenchmarks, a joint publication of the UMass Donahue Institute and the Boston Fed — showed that during the second quarter, "both employment and earnings grew strongly, while the unemployment rate fell." Employment expanded at a 3 percent annual rate, while earnings grew at a 9.5 percent annual rate. The state's jobless rate is currently 4.2 percent.

Dragged down by a reduction in automobile purchases, consumer spending in the state expanded at just a 0.8 percent rate in the second quarter, according to the MassBenchmarks report.

Its editors predict the state's moderate growth will continue through 2016, but the expansion could be constrained by a tightening labor market and slower worldwide economic growth.

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

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