Another Massachusetts Miracle?

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from Paul Leonard
Research Manager
Jones Lang LaSalle

The Boston Globe recently reported that, according to MassBenchmarks, the state economy grew at more than twice the U.S. pace in the second quarter (6.4% vs. 2.4%).

This comes as welcome news to most, unless of course you’re a bankruptcy lawyer or a repo man. It is particularly good news for the commercial real estate industry when we need it most. Jobs drive office demand, and a growing economy should lead to increased job growth in the months ahead.

In June, Greater Boston recorded its first year-over-year job growth in nearly two years led by such leading sectors as hospitals, universities, hotels, and professional and business services. However, much of the growth was also due to the temporary hiring of census workers.

Key to our local resurgence during the early stages of the recovery has been business spending, particularly on products that we specialize in here like semiconductors. Business spending has outpaced consumer spending in the recovery. This is both odd, and one of the reasons why Boston is fairing better than most markets – a stark contrast to the downturns in 2001 and the early 1990s. Additionally, while this downturn was dubbed the “Great Recession” nationally, for Boston it was a recession with a lower case “r.”

Our local market data can bounce around from quarter to quarter, and setbacks nationally over the summer months have me worried. However, it’s nice to see Boston leading the U.S. out of the recession.

-Paul

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