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Business and Economy

Maine Economic Forecasters Raise Flags As Federal Pandemic Stimulus Dries Up

So far this budget year, Maine state revenues have been above estimates that were made after the pandemic forced many business closures. But state Labor Department economists warn that the federal stimulus programs that pumped billions into the state economy are almost exhausted.

The Paycheck Protection Program kept a lot of Mainers working, and those that were laid off have been able to receive special federal unemployment benefits. But Mark McInerney of the Department of Labor, who appeared Friday before the economic forecast commission, says those help programs are coming to an end.

“Unless there is additional stimulus, there will be no more eligibility for those folks. They are going to exhaust, probably within the next few weeks but certainly by the end of December,” he says.

The commission is adjusting its projections for the state’s economy in order to assist state revenue forecasters.