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Economic Commission: Maine's Economy Continues to Grow Slowly

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state’s Economic Forecasting Commission heard testimony for hours, and poured over spreadsheets and reports, and concludes that the state’s economy is continuing slow growth.

The state’s unemployment rate is low and state revenues are growing - just two of the indicators the commission reviews in setting its projection.

“Slow steady growth," says businessman Jim Clair, who chairs the panel. "I mean we are pleased about what we are seeing about employment levels and personal income growth, and that sort of thing. But nothing that is going to dramatically raise the forecast.”

Clair has served on both the Economic Forecasting Commission and the Revenue Forecasting Committee. He says for the first time he can remember, there are three referenda questions that could have a significant impact on the state’s economy and revenues:  legalizing marijuana, raising the top income tax rate and increasing the minimum wage. He says if any are passed, members of the panel will meet again next month to see if they need to adjust the economic forecast.