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aaron chadbourne maine economic growthAccording to senior economists, Maine may be able to call 2015 its best year of economic recovery since 2007. While this may hold true for the United States economy as a whole, it is undoubtedly welcoming news to all residents of Maine. The country is expecting decent growth as well. This economic momentum, coupled with lower energy prices and lower interest rates will only help propel the overall recovery. As the economy continues to grow, as will job growth.

Maine is expected to add approximately 7,000 jobs this year, the best numbers we have seen since about 2000. Real estate numbers remain positive, but the recovery has been slower since Maine did not experience the same fall in prices as other states when the housing bubble burst. Less upside momentum has resulted in a slower recovery process. Low mortgage rates should allow for a continued housing market recovery.

Retail and hospitality are other areas in which projected numbers remain optimistic. The greater Portland areas retail sector is strong with vacancy rates at about 3.6 percent compared to the 9.7, the national average. Big name retailers are also expected to relocate to Scarborough Gallery. In addition, discount stores can be found just outside of Portland. Up to 22 new stores are expected to open through 2015.

Travelers can find nearly 700 additional hotel rooms in the Portland market, added in the last year alone. Reports show that the city’s downtown area has experienced a shortage of rooms, so the high number of rooms added should not worry. In fact, new hotels should be welcomed with increased demand.

Maine should experience a positive 2015. Let’s hope the numbers and projections are right!