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.