Maine’s economy sees slight uptick in 2012

Posted June 07, 2013, at 3:48 p.m.

Maine’s economy grew slightly last year, led by the manufacturing, construction and wholesale and retail trade industries, according to new federal statistics.

Maine’s real gross domestic product, an inflation-adjusted measurement of the goods and services produced in the state, was roughly $46 billion in 2012, representing a 0.5 percent increase from the year before, according to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That growth placed Maine 44th in the nation.

Sectors leading the uptick were wholesale trade, which increased 5.1 percent in 2012; manufacturing, which increased 4.0 percent; construction, which increased 5.1 percent; and retail trade, which increased 2.7 percent. The only major sector in Maine that experienced a decrease in 2012 was “real estate, rental and leasing,” which dropped 1 percent.

Maine’s real GDP per capita in 2012 was $34,597, a 0.4 percent increase from 2011.

In a statement, Gov. Paul LePage welcomed the news, but said there was more to do.

“While we always welcome growth, half a percent is not even close to good enough,” LePage said. “We need to continue to enact reforms that will spur economic growth and make Maine’s business climate more competitive.”

As a region, New England experienced a 1.2 percent increase in real GDP in 2012. Massachusetts led that growth, with a 2.2 percent increase in real GDP, placing it 19th in the country. Rhode Island was 34th with 1.4 percent growth, followed by Vermont (40th with 1.2 percent growth), New Hampshire (43rd with 0.5 percent growth), Maine (44th with 0.5 percent growth), and Connecticut (50th with a 0.1 percent decline).

North Dakota led the nation with 13.4 percent growth, driven by the mining, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade sectors.

Nationally, durable-goods manufacturing was the largest contributor to real GDP growth in 2012, increasing 9.1 percent. Overall, U.S. real GDP by state grew 2.5 percent in 2012.

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