Mass­a­chu­setts economy grew at a solid pace in the first three months of 2013, with jobs, wages and salaries on the rise, according to a new report released Friday by the Uni­ver­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts and the Fed­eral Reserve Bank of Boston.

The state economy expanded an annual rate of 3.9 per­cent between Jan­uary and March, up from 2.4 per­cent in the pre­ceding three months. In con­trast, US Com­merce Depart­ment said Friday that the nation’s economy grew by 2.5 per­cent between Jan­uary and March, up from 0.4 per­cent in the final three months of 2012.

What’s sur­prising was how quickly the growth occurred in the begin­ning of this year,” said North­eastern Uni­ver­sity econ­o­mist Alan Clayton-​​Matthews, who com­piled and ana­lyzed the data in the report. “There were all these signs of an economy starting to take off.”

Con­sumer spending and income grew, sup­ported by rising stock market and size­able bonus pay­ments to employees in the finan­cial ser­vices and pro­fes­sional sec­tors. How­ever, pay­roll taxes increased for most Amer­i­cans in Jan­uary when Con­gress allowed a tem­po­rary tax cut to lapse. Addi­tion­ally, the impact of auto­matic fed­eral spending cuts is begin­ning to be felt as agen­cies cancel or delay con­tracts and fur­lough workers.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →