Maine economist: Recession to continue

Posted Jan. 14, 2009, at 10:10 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — One of Maine’s chief economic forecasters says the state is in for another 1 1/2 years of pain before the recession bottoms out and the picture brightens.

Charles Colgan of the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie Institute says the state stands to lose 17,000 jobs by the third quarter of next year. But he said Wednesday the current recession won’t be nearly as bad as the one in 1990-91.

He said the state’s economy was on thin ice and broke through in the fourth quarter 2008.

Colgan said the recession would be far worse without President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package, which could reach $1 trillion in size.

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