Category Archives: Economy

Madison Paper buckled under big spike in Canadian imports

Madison Paper Industries

In announcing the closure of Madison Paper Industries, observers pointed to a one-two punch of declining domestic demand and rising imports, alongside high winter energy costs. Federal import figures give a picture of just what the mill was up against in recent years. From July-December, imports of supercalendered paper from Canada were up 90 percent by volume and […]

An ‘economic crisis’ in Maine’s paper industry, mapped

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Madison Paper Industries announced it will shut its doors in May. And then there will be eight. The latest paper mill shutdown announcement will make for five major closures in the past three years, after East Millinocket, Lincoln, Old Town and Bucksport. The accounting has varied in the wake of the Madison closure, but without it the operating mills include those […]

Gas and oil may be cheap, but Mainers still spent gobs on them

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While gasoline prices have dipped to surprising lows, oil-heavy Maine households still spent more on it and other energy commodities than almost every other state. Maine had the third-highest per-capita cost for gasoline and other energy goods, not including utilities like electricity or piped natural gas. It was behind the other small and cold states of North Dakota and Wyoming for those […]

One number that gives Maine’s paper industry hope

LEWISTON SUN-JOURAL PHOTO BY AMBER WATERMAN

The paper industry ain’t what it used to be, but a recent survey of paper producers found new investment last year hit the highest point since 2003, at $173 million this year. That figure — about double the investment from 2013 — is a bright spot for an industry that has needed investment to upgrade machinery and become more efficient […]

Is there a bridge that needs work in your town?

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Data from the Maine Department of Transportation presented in a report Wednesday by the industry group TRIP, or The Road Information Program, showed that 15 percent of the state’s bridges have some structural deficiency. The group and the state DOT are drawing attention to the figures in advance of a bond question on the Nov. 3 ballot whether the state […]

Are you $700 richer this year? Gas price report says you should be

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On Sunday, the average gallon of gas in Maine cost $2.27, down $1.17 from one year ago. The surprise global drop in crude oil prices has broad implications internationally and raises specific challenges for domestic gas and oil producers, but a new report gives a sense of the average benefit for the approximately 506,191 Maine households with cars (according to the latest census survey, […]

Car-related sales help drive Maine’s recovery

Pat and Steve Kotyk (from left) of Eddintgon watch as mechanic Jim Giguere makes a minor repiar to their car Friday at Main Street Garage in Bangor. Accoridng to Mike Giguere, Jim's father and owner of the garage, the economic downturn has meant "less sales, more repairs" at the business, which sells and services used cars. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KATE COLLINS)

It appears we love our vehicles, or that an improving economy has made Mainers feel a little better about investing in their rides. For all but seven months from 2010 to 2015, automobile-related sales have grown after taking a dive with every other type of spending during the recession. That category of spending has consistently growth faster through Maine’s […]