Natalie Sherman | The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore region has been less affected by federal spending cuts than other parts of the state, helping to make it a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster Maryland economy, a federal economist said Thursday. (David Hobby, The Baltimore Sun)
The Baltimore region has been less affected by federal spending cuts than other parts of the state, helping to make it a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster Maryland economy, a federal economist said Thursday. (David Hobby, The Baltimore Sun)

The Baltimore region has been less affected by federal spending cuts than other parts of the state, helping to make it a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster Maryland economy, a federal economist said Thursday.

Employment in the Baltimore region grew about 1.8 percent between September 2013 and September 2014, comparable to the 1.9 percent rate in the U.S. overall. In Maryland overall, jobs have grown at a rate of about 0.6 percent.

R. Andrew Bauer, a Baltimore-based senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., predicted that Baltimore will continue to outperform Maryland next year while the state experiences a “year of catch-up.”

“It’s not going to be an exciting time, but a steady time,” he said at the Hilton Baltimore, where the Greater Baltimore Committee hosted its economic outlook conference. “My version of optimistic is perhaps a revision of what optimistic is. … Growth is going to be more moderate.”

Maryland’s job growth started to slow in 2011, when Congress passed the Budget Control Act imposing spending caps and setting the stage for future automatic spending cuts, Bauer said. Those sequester cuts went into effect in 2013, placing another damper on growth. Read more