As Washington, D.C. debated paying our nation’s debts this week, independent global companies that issue reports of credit worthiness reaffirmed Maine’s solid financial footing.
Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings – which used to be Standard & Poor’s—global companies that analyze and issue reports of credit worthiness, have affirmed their strong credit ratings on the State of Maine’s general obligation debt. That’s a key measure of their confidence that we could weather an economic downturn with the resources we have on hand. Moody’s affirmed their Aa2 rating and upgraded their outlook from stable to positive. S&P affirmed their AA rating and stable outlook.
S&P applauded Maine’s “good financial policies and budgetary management” as well as our “stable government framework.” Moody’s cited our “strong financial reserves,” writing that “the state's finances will remain in solid shape thanks to strong fiscal governance.” Moody’s attributed its upgrade of Maine’s outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ to Maine’s “continued GDP growth at or above the national rate,” and Maine’s growing population and employment rates.
Since I’ve taken office, Maine’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP, a key measure of economic strength, has grown by 8.8 percent – the 8th best rate of growth in the nation and the best rate of growth in New England.
Personal income has grown by nearly 20 percent in Maine from 2019 to 2022, the 14th best rate of growth in the country and the best rate of growth in New England.
Maine’s unemployment rate has dropped to a new record low of 2.4 percent, below the New England average and the U.S. average.
In 2022, Maine had the 11th highest net in-migration rate, the number of people moving into our state, in the nation and the highest net in-migration rate in New England. Basically, people coming here from other states.
Maine’s budget is balanced, our Rainy Day Fund is at a record high, our unemployment rate is at a record low, we have a high number of jobs available, and our economy is strong, despite challenges we face.
The positive credit ratings from Moody’s Investor’s Service and S&P Global Ratings confirm our good fiscal management of the state budget and reflect the effectiveness of our policies in strengthening Maine’s economy.
In addition, we continue to work toward appropriate, reasonable tax incentives for good businesses, high-paying jobs to come here to Maine, upskill our workforce, and give them incentives to train our workforce for the jobs of the future. Things like the Dirigo Business Incentive, in the change package being considered by the Appropriations Committee.
Well, there’s no doubt that we still have some challenges in front of us. We’ll meet them by investing in Maine people to build a stronger, more prosperous state, and we’ll do so while living responsibly within our means. Perhaps Washington D.C. could learn a thing or two from how we do business here in Maine.
This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.