The economy continues to grow for the sixth consecutive quarter

Supply chain disruptions and labor shortages continue to hold back economic growth, but index polls released Monday show the Massachusetts economy is expanding for a sixth consecutive quarter and four consecutive quarters of growth for the U.S. economy.

Citizens said its national Citizens Business Conditions Index ended the third quarter at 57.1, down from 57.4 in the second quarter. The reading of the central government economy for the third quarter was 55, an increase from 53.1 in the second quarter. Measurements above 50 reflect an expanding economy.

“Despite persistent challenges from the pandemic, the third quarter was a period of strong demand across most sectors of the economy,” Citizens said. “With continued support from low interest rates and fiscal spending initiatives, most sectors appear to have established a healthy growth path. Concerns about higher inflation have increased and the employment sector still has land to cover to reach pre-COVID status.”

The index draws from a pool of metrics, including production data, consumer spending, commercial banking data, initial unemployment requirements, commodity prices and new business applications.

“The business activity is incredibly strong and the level of trust is quite high,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens. “We have not completely left the pandemic yet, but at this stage, most parts of the economy have established a certain normality given the benefits of vaccines and the fiscal and monetary stimulus.”

“Many companies are doing well and would do even better if it were not for headwinds such as supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.”

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