Massachusetts’ economy grew at a good clip in the first three months of the year, even as economic growth nationally nearly ground to halt, according to state and federal economic reports released Wednesday.
The state’s economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6 percent between January and March, according to the University of Massachusetts and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The national economy barely grew at all during that period, expanding at a rate of 0.1 percent after growing 2.6 percent at the end of last year, the US Commerce Department reported.
Economists said the national slowdown appeared temporary, blaming it on severe winter weather that shut businesses, delayed construction projects, hurt housing sales, and pinched consumer spending. Massachusetts — supported by its technology, life sciences, and financial services industries — fared better.
The state’s unemployment rate has fallen for the last three months, to 6.3 percent in March from 7.1 percent in December. The national average in March was 6.7 percent.