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Maine Development Foundation


The Maine Consumer: Under Pressure

Report for Central Maine Power

Maine is currently in one of the deepest economic downturns it has ever experienced, and, as a result, Maine consumers are under considerable pressure to make ends meet. What started as a normal dip in a business cycle in 2007 and early 2008 turned into a deep drop in many state and national economic measures by the end of 2008. The drop was a result of an unprecedented confluence of events, including: an increase in commodity prices, primarily oil and food, to record high levels; problems in the financial sector due to the performance of subprime loans and mortgage backed securities; unsustainable housing values; and a consumer-driven economy with an over-reliance on credit.

On the national level, many analysts are comparing the steep decline to the Great Depression of the 1930s, noting the recent increase in bankruptcy filings and the government bailouts of the nation's automakers and financial institutions. These factors led to a broad-based recession across the nation and in Maine that has affected all sectors of the economy - putting a squeeze on businesses, government agencies and consumers alike.

This economic brief shows the trends in national and state-level economic indicators and discusses the impact of the recession on Maine residents and businesses.



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