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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Your next dinner table conversation: How to improve Maine’s economy

Maine was the only New England state in 2011 to see a reduction in gross domestic product, and the headlines are a little alarming. Even when put into greater context, the numbers show a picture of economic stagnation.
Comparing one year’s GDP to another is only one way to measure economic growth. It’s correct that a big reason for Maine’s economy shrinking 0.04 percent was because the Brunswick Naval Air Station closed, eliminating thousands of military and civilian jobs. Many of those workers left the state, taking their spouses and children with them.
No other New England state saw a base closure in 2011. That year, New England grew 1.8 percent in its value of goods and services produced, while the nation saw 1.5 percent growth, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the U.S. Department of Commerce.