“I think we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of stimulus out in the economy. People were saving a lot more,” Sarah Austin, director of policy and research at the Maine Center for Economic Policy, said. “The most recent data has shown that there is still a lot of savings in the economy, but especially lower income households are now getting back to that paycheck-to-paycheck status.”
Austin said the issue of inflation really began last year and peaked in March of 2022. She said in some ways, there is some hope. Home heating season is ending, so that will likely save some Mainers some money. She also said there’s work going on at the state level to provide help.