The State of Maine’s Economy

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Recently, I was appointed to the Maine Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission whose job it is to project the future state of Maine’s economy. The CEFC projection is then used to estimate future state revenue. As a result, I’ve been delving into all kinds of economic data to better understand the state of Maine’s economy from a short-term forecasting perspective.

One popular data series come from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and is called the “State Coincident Index.” I’ve taken their historical data for all the New England states and created the chart below which shows some very interesting, if disturbing, trends for Maine:

  1. Maine had the second steepest decline in the index during the “Great Recession” following only behind Rhode Island.
  2. Maine currently has the worst “recovery” of all New England states with the economy is essentially moving sideways.
Other interesting trends:
  1. Massachusetts is the only state whose index value is higher today than before the “Great Recession.”
  2. New Hampshire has outgrown all New England state by a fairly wide margin since the index was re-calibrated to equal 100 in July, 1992.
  3. Vermont appears to be heading back into a recession . . . wonder if this has anything to do with their recent enactment of “universal healthcare?”
All this is happening just prior to a growing consensus that the U.S. economy is heading toward a double-dip recession. Anyone else see any interesting trends in this data?
Chart Showing State Coincident Index for New England and Maine