The Bay State’s economy will grow slowly this year before bouncing back in 2014, while the state’s unem­ploy­ment rate is poised to fall to 5.2 per­cent by the last quarter of 2017, according to an eco­nomic fore­cast released today by the New Eng­land Eco­nomic Partnership.

Mass­a­chu­setts pay­roll employ­ment is expected to grow 1 per­cent this year, 1.6 per­cent in 2014 and will average 2.2 per­cent in 2015 in response to pent-​​up con­sumer demand that will help the pace of growth return to “normal” levels in 2016. This growth will then slow fur­ther as baby boomers retire, said North­eastern Uni­ver­sity econ­o­mist Alan Clayton-​​Matthews.

Despite fiscal aus­terity resulting from pay­roll tax increases and fed­eral budget cuts, robust stock and housing mar­kets have helped con­tribute to increased con­sumer demand, Clayton-​​Matthews said. The improved housing market will also spur fast gains in con­struc­tion over the next five years, according to the forecast.

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