Governor Janet Mills and State Treasurer Henry Beck announced that Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, 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. Moody’s affirmed their Aa2 rating and upgraded their outlook from stable to positive. S&P affirmed their AA rating and stable outlook.
In its affirmation, S&P applauded Maine’s “good financial policies and budgetary management” as well as the state’s “stable government framework”. Moody’s cited Maine’s “strong financial reserves,” writing that “the biennial budget for fiscal years 2024-2025 is structurally sound” and 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’ because of Maine’s “continued GDP growth at or above the national rate,” and Maine’s growing population and employment rates.
Maine has a balanced budget, and Governor Mills and the Legislature have built up the Budget Stabilization, or “Rainy Day”, Fund to a record high of $911.3 million, an increase of more than $701 million since taking office in 2019.
Additionally, Maine’s GDP 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 also grown by 19.6 percent in Maine from 2019 to 2022, ranking 14th best in the country and best in New England. The unemployment rate has dropped to a new record low of 2.4 percent, below both the New England and U.S. averages, with Maine’s total private employment reaching a new record high of 539,300 filled jobs in 2022.
In 2022, Maine had the 11th highest net migration rate in the United States and the highest rate in New England. Maine was also the only state to see a decrease in median age from 2020-21, led by increased migration of younger populations into the state.
Treasurer Beck, Commissioner Figueroa, the State Economist, and other members of the Executive Branch presented to Moody’s and S&P via telephone on May 25, 2023.