The Boston Globe – Report cites benefits from Mass. green campaign

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Alan Clayton-Matthews comments on the impact that the Green Communities Act will have on Massachusetts’ economy.

Regional economy still isn’t gathering steam

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By Dan O’Brien | The Lowell Sun | October 28, 2012

John Mattheos, owner of Salon Mattheos, has been building his brand in Lowell for 20 years. He’s seen strong economic times and weak ones.

Earlier this year, Mattheos took advantage of a still-depressed real-estate market to scoop up a foreclosed property on Rogers Street, then invested tens of thousands of dollars to renovate it into a salon.

“I grew up in this neighborhood, Belvidere, so I figured I would do really well here,” Mattheos said in a recent interview. “It’s been OK. But I really thought I’d be able to get to that next level by now.”

More than three years after the last recession (supposedly) ended, many businesses are just not seeing the strong comeback they anticipated would happen.

Because it really hasn’t happened.

A report released Friday from MassBenchmarks, a journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, found that economic growth in Massachusetts was a mere 1.9 percent during the third quarter. Read More

State’s economy slows as US growth picks up

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By Megan Woolhouse | Boston.com | October 26, 2012

Massachusetts’ economic growth slowed significantly over the summer while the nation showed a modest pick-up, according to two reports released Friday.

The diverging trajectories highlight the difference between the consumer-driven US economy and the Massachusetts economy, which is more dependent on business spending. Nationally consumer spending increased solidly while overall business investment declined.

The state’s economic fell to a 1.9 percent annual rate between July and September, down from 3.0 percent in the preceding three months, the University of Massachusetts reported. The U.S. economy grew at a 2.0 percent annual rate during the same period, an improvement over the spring’s slow 1.3 percent rate of growth, the US Commerce Department reported.

Robert Nakosteen, an economist at the University of Massachusetts and executive editor of the report, produced by the UMass Donahue Institute and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, described Massachusetts’ pace of growth as “not very heartwarming.” Read More

Three cheers for Mr. Rosengren

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By Barry Bluestone | Boston.com | August 7, 2012

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has been blessed with extraordinary leadership since the 1960s, if not longer. Eric Rosengren has continued that tradition since he became president of the bank in 2007. Now he is speaking out calmly and intelligently about the state of the economy and the need for his Federal Reserve colleagues in Washington to take greater action to accelerate economic growth. With the domestic economy’s annual growth rate slowing to 1.5 percent this past spring, the national unemployment rate rising to 8.3 percent, and Europe’s economy on the brink of another deep recession, Rosengren is urging the Fed to keep interest rates low by aggressively buying up bonds – possibly trillions of dollars of them.

In particular, the Boston Fed President would like to see the Fed buy mortgage securities in order to lower home loan rates further. This would make it possible for more households to refinance their mortgages at lower rates, leaving them with additional money each month to purchase other goods and services. It would also encourage renter households with good credit ratings to purchase homes, encouraging more housing construction. Lower interest rates would likewise help families pay off credit card debt. Interest rates are already at an all-time low, but driving them down further could spur at least a bit more investment activity. Read More

State economy grows faster than US, but slowdown coming, UMass reports

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By Megan Woolhouse | Boston.com | July 27, 2012

Massachusetts’ economy continued to grow at faster rate than the nation’s largely due to the strength of the state’s technology industry, but national and international developments are expected to slow the pace to the recovery here, according to a quarterly analysis released Friday by the University of Massachusetts.

The state economy grew at an annual rate of 4 percent between April and June, more than double the national rate, according to UMass. The US Commerce Department reported Friday the nation’s economy grew at a 1.5 percent, a sluggish pace, but slightly better than economists forecast. Read More

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