“The old number feels like the better description of what’s really happening in the Massachusetts economy,” based on other economic indicators, including gross domestic product growth, export growth, tourism, and payroll withholding tax growth, said Gregory Bialecki, secretary of housing and economic development.- Boston.com
Faced with the evidence that the Massachusetts job growth rate slipped to 41st in the Nation in 2011, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki told the Boston Globe that by other metrics the economy was growing. That is simply not true. On three of the four metrics cited by Bialecki the economy is either slowing down or contracting.
When the 2.7% state inflation rate (CPI-U Boston) is taken into account the Massachusetts economy contracted last year. Revised estimates from the University of Massachusetts show a real GSP growth of 1.8%. This rates is significantly less than the expected growth rate due to inflation.
Using 2006 as a baseline, in every year of the Patrick Administration Massachusetts has lagged behind the nation in export growth, according to data from the Department of Commerce. In 2011 the rate of growth of exports slowed from the 2009 to 2010 numbers in real US dollars.
According to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute at the University of Albany Massachusetts ranked 33rd in personal income tax receipt growth when comparing Q4-11 to Q4-10. To be more specific, this is 33rd out of the 41 states which have personal income taxes. Massachusetts was the lowest of the states with positive receipt growth at 0.2%.
In three of the four measures, besides job growth, cited by Secretary Bialecki above, the Massachusetts economy is slowing down. We are not growing faster and stronger than the nation. We are growing, or more correctly shrinking versus inflation, at roughly the same rate of gross product. We are significantly behind national growth rates in job creation, export growth, and growth in personal income tax receipts.
It is past time for the Patrick administration to admit they we have a problem. The commonwealth deserves leaders which tell the people the truth, and not those who would shade the truth to fit their narrative.