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September 19, 2018

Maine's economic growth last year lagged behind national rate, feds say

The economies of Maine's largest metropolitan areas grew in 2017, but not at the pace of the national growth rate.

According to data released Tuesday by the federal government, real gross domestic product in the Portland-South Portland area increased 1.7% to $32.1 billion, and in Lewiston-Auburn grew 1.4% to $4.2 billion. Bangor's GDP grew 0.9% to $6.1 billion.

Economies in 383 U.S. metro areas grew by an average of 2.1%, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, with GDP increasing in 312 of those areas.

The Portland-South Portland GDP ranked No. 84 in size among the metro areas, and No. 180 in growth rate. Lewiston-Auburn's economy placed No. 352 in size and No. 219 in growth rate, while Bangor was No. 280 and No. 251, respectively.

Professional and business services, trade, finance and real estate were some of the economic sectors driving growth in Portland-South Portland and Lewiston-Auburn, according to the report. In Bangor, major drivers included education, health and social services.

Across New England, changes in GDP ranged from 2.8% growth in metro Boston to a 3% decline in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area of Connecticut.

Nationwide, changes in metro GDP ranged from 12.1% growth in Odessa, Texas, to a decline of 7.8% in Enid, Okla.

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