Economists: Massachusetts 1Q growth ‘surprisingly weak’

Employment is still expanding in the state

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BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts economy lost ground in the first quarter of the year.

That’s according to MassBenchmarks, a journal of the state’s economy published by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

The economists say the state’s performance was “surprisingly weak,” with the gross domestic product declining at an estimated annual rate of 0.5 percent during the first three months of 2017.

It marked the second straight quarter that Massachusetts lagged behind the nation as a whole. According to the Commerce Department, the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in first quarter of this year, the weakest performance in three years.

MassBenchmarks says while employment has been expanding in the Bay State, personal income growth has stalled.

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