Free Press shares economists’ forecast for hospitality industry

The Free Press shared results of a study by University of Maine economists that indicated earnings for Maine restaurants and lodgings will drop by more than one-third from 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Todd Gabe, a professor of economics, and Andrew Crawley, an assistant professor of regional economic development, predict that 2020 hospitality sales will reach between $2.5 and $2.8 billion by the end of the year, a 35- to 42-percent drop from last year, when sales were $4.3 billion. The forecast relies on actual data from January to April and estimated earnings for May through December.