The state economy grew at warp speed in the last three months of 2013, driven by strong employment growth, rising incomes, and improving consumer spending, according to a new report released Thursday morning by the University of Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts economy expanded at an annual rate of 5.5 percent from October through December, the report said, compared to a 3.2 percent for the national economy.
Despite the strong economic growth, Massachusetts’ unemployment rate of 7 percent in December remains higher than the national average of 6.7 percent the same month.
The state economy “appears to be benefitting from improving conditions in national and international economies, and by increasingly confident households who are demonstrating a willingness to spend,” said Northeastern University economics professor Alan Clayton-Matthews, who compiles and analyzes the data for the report.
The report also said the “rising tide is not lifting all boats,” citing problems among the long-term unemployed, or those who have been unable to find a job six months or longer, high jobless rates among young people and those with less education.
The report appears in MassBenchmarks, a journal of the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.