Mass. Economic Growth Slightly Outpaced The Nation's In 2016
The Massachusetts economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in 2016, edging the national expansion rate of 1.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday.
The 2016 figures represent slowdowns for both the state and the country. U.S. gross domestic product increased 2.6 percent in 2015, and Massachusetts GDP rose 3.7 percent that year.
The U.S. economy grew at just a 0.7 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2017. State-level figures on the first three months of the year are due from the BEA in July, though University of Massachusetts economists have said the state economy contracted slightly over the period.
Massachusetts leaders are watching economic figures closely, as tax revenues keep missing projections, worsening a state budget gap. The Massachusetts unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, which has long been below the national level, but is up since the beginning of the year.
Eleven states outpaced the Massachusetts growth rate last year, including New Hampshire, which expanded at a 3 percent rate. The other New England states saw smaller increases.
Washington and neighboring Oregon topped the state list, with GDP growth rates of 3.7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum was mining-dependent North Dakota, which saw its economy contract at a 6.5 percent rate.
The state gross domestic product measures the total value of all goods and services produced in a state. GDP is subject to revision as more information comes in.
In Massachusetts, the professional, scientific and technical services sector accounted for more than a fourth of economic growth in 2016. The information sector also had robust growth.
The government employment sector in the state contracted slightly last year.