Friday, January 29, 2010

Where is the recovery?

For months, Governor Patrick has been saying the Massachusetts economy is poised to recover quicker than other states in the country. However, according to a report from the University of Massachusetts, “Economic activity in Massachusetts is estimated to have declined at a 0.2 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2009.” Interestingly enough, “The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the national economy expanded markedly at an estimated annual rate of 5.7 percent during the same period.”

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University Alan Clayton-Matthews says, “The disappointing fourth quarter performance was due to a poor holiday spending season reflected in December employment and state withholding sales tax revenues, and a sharp rise in the December unemployment rate. This shock was most likely a one-time event that does not indicate weakness going forward-the leading index is projecting growth in the first quarter of this year.”

While the decline may have been a fluke, we at The Capitol View are not comfortable banking just hoping things will improve. Yesterday, the House took up two pieces of legislation, neither of which would create jobs or stimulate the economy. Next week, the House is taking up a bill relative to safe driving. While these are good bills that help address important issues, the Legislature’s needs to focus on improving our economy and creating jobs too. At what point are the Governor and the Democratic-controlled legislation going to address the fact that Massachusetts is an extremely unfriendly place to do business with a poor economic environment for attracting new businesses?