A tale of Maine retail: December sales have dipped in recent years

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Nationwide, retail sales are projected to increase again after a 3.1 percent increase in November and December of 2013, but Maine sales in retail categories likely on shoppers’ lists have fallen in recent years. It’s hard to isolate what would be deemed holiday shopping, but state sales tax data does give us a look at the categories of stores that are likely […]

Bangor and The County lead growth in personal income in 2013, but…

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The Bangor metropolitan area and Aroostook County led the state for growth in personal income per person from 2012 to 2013, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people have more money in their pockets than one year prior. The 2013 figures for all counties and metropolitan areas in the country shows the the total personal earnings (and transfer payments […]

Is your Facebook feed nothing but politics? In Maine, probably

The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, in this Jan. 29, 2013 file photo. ROBERT GALBRAITH | REUTERS

It’s one thing to get bombarded by political advertisements like never before, but political chatter in Maine’s making things personal, at least for Facebook users. Facebook provided The Washington Post’s Darla Cameron with data showing nearly one in five Facebook users in Maine have either posted about the elections or liked a candidates’ page from July 10 to Oct. 19. That’s the most […]

Mill job losses add to long decline for Maine paper industry

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Maine pulp and paper mills have taken a series of hits this year with the closure of three mills and the cumulative loss of about 1,000 jobs. It’s an industry in decline, leaving hundreds out of work in Old Town, East Millinocket and, starting Dec. 1, in Bucksport. There’s more to this story than numbers, as is clear from the way workers […]

Just how accurate are Maine’s monthly unemployment estimates?

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So, everyone, let’s all talk about the elephant in the room: The unemployment estimates out Friday. Missed them? Well, if you were following along through the morning, you may have been confused about just when was the last time that preliminary estimates of unemployment rose in Maine. That may have been my fault. (It was a year ago, but […]

More of the same: Slow Maine GDP growth fuels political haymaking

Maine’s metropolitan areas lagged growth rates for other areas of the country in the last year, continuing a longer term trend in Maine’s economy. In one-year and 12-year comparisons, growth in the value of goods and services coming from Maine’s major metropolitan areas is below the median for metropolitan areas around the country. While there’s little difference in comparisons […]

How Maine ranks as ‘business friendly’ under Gov. Paul LePage, in 5 charts

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When you think of “business friendliness,” what comes to mind? Perhaps how it was a key promise of Gov. Paul LePage’s 2010 campaign. Perhaps Forbes magazine’s dogged placement of Maine dead-last in its annual “business climate” rankings, based on a proprietary formula. Or perhaps it’s the sign that lets you know that not only is Maine the way life should be, […]

Bloomberg highlights Maine’s sluggish Internet speeds, municipal solutions

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Bloomberg News reported something with which you, loading the BDN website, are probably well aware: Internet speeds in Maine are not the fastest. The report from Bloomberg follows writer Susan Crawford’s favorable review of Rockport’s municipally owned broadband network, unveiled earlier this month. The report highlights some of the challenges well-known to Maine Internet users but also the […]

Today on the auction block: carbon emission allowances

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The 25th carbon allowance auction through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) starting today is bringing out supporters and opponents of the Northeast cap-and-trade program. Supporters like the Natural Resources Council of Maine argue that the nearly $50 million paid by Maine producers for carbon allowances have supported investments that will provide long-term environmental and economic returns (they debuted two case studies […]

Biddeford maker of lightweight outdoor equipment lands $900,000 investment

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Hyperlite Mountain Gear, a outdoor gear manufacturer based in Biddeford’s Pepperell Mill Campus, has raised just more than $900,000 in equity financing and a bank loan to support new investment in marketing, product development and staff, according to the Maine Venture Fund. The company reported raising $908,000 of its $1 million offering in a filing with the U.S. Securities […]