Sullivan Team

US GDP Grows At 2.6% In Q2

                                     Modest Growth Path

Economy enters ninth year of expansion, growing at a 2.6% annual rate in the second quarter




The U.S. emerged from recession in mid-2009. Since then, GDP growth has averaged 2.1%. In contrast, growth averaged 3.6% during a 10-year span in the 1990s and 4.9% during a nearly nine-year stretch in the 1960s, the only two expansions with longer durations.

Slow and steady has produced a long stretch of job creation and left the economy on mostly stable footing, with few signs of the kind of excess that in the past have derailed long periods of growth.

1st Quarter 2017 GDP Revised Upward To 1.4%

The U.S. economic expansion remains on track as it prepares to enter its ninth year.  
Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S. economy, expanded at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday
Growing Slightly Faster
First-quarter GDP, initially reported at an anemic 0.7%, has been revised up in subsequentmonths and now stands at 1.4%.

Macroeconomic Advisers on Thursday projected a 3.3% GDP growth rate for the spring quarter and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow model earlier this week predicted 2.9% growth. ...

… the current expansion has been disappointingly weak, with GDP growth averaging just 2.1% a year.  That is weaker than any other recovery since at least 1949. Still, the unemployment rate has continued to decline, hitting 4.3% in May—its lowest level in 16 years. For

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Fed Raises Fed Fund Rate 1/4%, Sees Two More Rate Increases In 2017

Fed Raises Fed Fund Rate 1/4%. Sees Two More Rate Increases in 2017

U.S. central bankers see no major changes in their economic outlook


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WASHINGTON—Federal Reserve officials still expect to raise short-term interest rates two more times this year after lifting them Wednesday—and they see no major changes in their economic outlook. 

In economic projections released Wednesday following a two-day policy meeting, officials also penciled in three more quarter-percentage-point moves in 2018. They also see interest rates settling at their long-run average of 3% by the end of 2019, slightly sooner than they foresaw in their December projections. 

Officials took the first step Wednesday by raising their benchmark federal-funds rate as expected by a quarter-percentage-point to a range between 0.75%and 1 %.  ...

Wednesday’s projections show Fed officials see the economy growing 2.1% in 2017, the same pace as in December. They see growth at 2.1% in 2018 and 1.9% in 2019 before settling at its longer-run average of 1.8%. 

They expect an unemployment rate of 4.5% at the end of the next three years. Projections for the longer-run unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7% from 4.8% in December. 

Officials see inflation ending the year at 1.9% and rising to the Fed’s 2% target by 2018.

Write to David Harrison at

Robust Feb 2017 Job Growth May Lead To Rate Increase

Robust Job Growth, Higher Wages Show Solid Labor Market


Data clears the way for Fed rate increase next week

… The U.S. economic expansion is now the third-longest on record and showed no signs of letting up in February, with robust hiring, falling unemployment and firmer wage growth opening the way for the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates.

Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 235,000 from January, exceeding forecasters’ expectations, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7%. Average hourly earnings in the private sector rose 2.8% from a year earlier, a sign that the tightening job market is pushing employers to raise pay.


... The mild winter likely boosted the pace of hiring, especially in the weather-sensitive construction sector. The construction industry added 58,000 jobs last month after adding 40,000 in January, strong gains that some economists said could lead to weaker readings in the spring.

Meantime, there is little sign of acceleration in overall economic activity during the early months of 2017; many forecasters expect another quarter of sub-2% growth due to a wider trade deficit and moderate consumer spending.

Still, there are hints of building momentum. The share of Americans in their prime working years, ages 25 to 54, who were employed in February, hit 78.3%, the highest level since October 2008. The labor-force participation rate ticked up to 63%, a sign that a healthier job market is stemming a tide of labor-force dropouts.

… Manufacturers added 28,000 jobs in February and 57,000 positions over the past three months.


… At 2.8%, February’s annual growth for private-sector hourly earnings matched the second-highest reading of the current expansion. Some of the strongest wage growth has come at the bottom of the pay scale; the leisure and hospitality sector, for instance, saw earnings rise 4.2% on the year. ...

... Some 23.8% of America’s 7.5 million unemployed workers have been out of a job for longer than six months, an elevated rate of long-term unemployment, compared with the prerecession years. An additional 5.7 million people are working part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs. And the pace of wage growth, while improved, remains below precrisis levels.


MA July Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 4.7%, Labor Participation Rate 65.8%

MA July Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 4.7% VS US Unemployment Rate of 5.3%, also unchanged
MA unemployment Rate fell 1% from last year as  85,700 more jobs were added. 
MA Labor Participation Rate was 65.8% VS 62.6 for US.

Mortgage Rates Hit 2015 High - 4.2% for 30 Year Fixed

Mortgage Rates Up - 30 Year at 4.2%

MA April 2015 Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.7%

MA Unemployment Rate continues to drop..  April's rate was 4.7% which is 1.1% below a year ago.  

Net jobs increased 10,100 in April and increased 66,100 jobs over the past year.


MA Unemployment Rate for Feb Drops To 4.9%

BOSTON, MA -March 19, 2015 

MA unemployment rate drops to 4.9% from 5.1% in Jan and 6.0% in Feb 2014. The labor participation rate, the share of working age residents employed, rose to 65.9% up 0.3% from Jan and up 1% from a year ago.  There were 3,430,500 residents employed and 177,300 unemployed in Feb.

MA December Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.5% from 5.8%; 10,900 Jobs in Dec.

Massachusetts adds 10,900 jobs in December
Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.5%

BOSTON, MA - January 22, 2015 ---  The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) today reported that preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Massachusetts added 10,900 jobs in December for a total preliminary estimate of 3,447,600.  The December total unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, down 0.3 of a percentage point over the month.

Since December 2013, Massachusetts has added a net of 60,900 jobs; with 58,400 jobs added in the private sector. The total unemployment rate for the year is down 1.6 percent from the December 2013 rate of 7.1 percent.

BLS also revised its November job estimate to an 11,700 job gain from the 13,500 gain previously reported for the month.

Q3 GDP Up 5%, Strongest Growth in 11 Years - Dow At Record Highs

U.S. Economy Posts Strongest Growth in 11 Years  Updated Dec. 23, 2014 8:06 p.m. ET

Commerce Department said the U.S. economy expanded at a 5% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the third quarter, its strongest pace in 11 years, and reported that consumer spending accelerated last month amid rising incomes and falling gasoline prices.


A big question remains: Can consumers sustain the momentum into 2015? 

There still are signs the economy is far from full health. Inflation remains low and has sagged lower in recent months, largely because of falling oil prices. Low inflation and sagging commodities prices are a possible signal of weak underlying demand, particularly overseas. Wage growth remains sluggish, though there have been glimpses in recent data of a potential pickup. Gains in labor productivity have been slow.

Weakness around the world could reduce demand for U.S.-made products, and a stronger dollar could further depress exports by making them more expensive overseas.  

Fed officials expect full-year growth will come in below 2.5%, marking 2014 as only a slight pickup from recent years.  
But officials see growth strengthening to between a 2.6% to 3% rate in 2015.

The housing market has yet to return to prerecession levels despite low mortgage rates and strong job growth. Sales of new single-family homes fell for the second straight month in November and are essentially unchanged this year from 2013, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Inflation, meanwhile, remains tame. The Fed’s preferred gauge, the Commerce Department’s personal consumption expenditures price index, slipped to a 1.2% annual gain in November from 1.4% in October. It was the 31st consecutive month that inflation undershot the central bank’s 2% target.

The unemployment rate was 5.8% last month, down from 7% a year earlier, according to Labor Department data.

Personal income rose 0.4% last month from October and climbed 4.2% from a year earlier, the largest annual income gain since December 2012, the Commerce Department said.

Eric Morath And , Ben Leubsdorf, Jonathan House, Kathleen Madigan and Josh Mitchell contributed to this article.