The Maine Economic Growth Council yesterday released its annual Measures of Growth report, which ranks Maine on 25 economic indicators. The council gave the state high marks for improvements in international exports and energy costs, but said Maine didn't improve enough in five other areas.
The report gives gold stars to indicators that demonstrate exceptional performance in meeting benchmarks. International exports received a star for its 13% increase in 2011 over the previous year. Maine exported nearly $3.6 billion in 2011. A star also went to energy prices, which dropped in both the retail and industrial markets by 5% and 15%, respectively, between 2008 and 2009. Maine also made some progress in closing the gap with national average prices.
The report, however, gave red flags to five indicators that need attention: research and development expenditures; the cost of health care; transportation infrastructure; fourth-grade reading scores; and wellness and prevention.
The Maine Economic Growth Council is comprised of 19 members, each appointed by the governor, Senate president and Speaker of the House, representing government, business, education, labor and environmental interests.