Maryland's 2012 Economic Outlook with Anirban Basu

by Anirban Basu 18. January 2012

Anirban Basu

Anirban Basu Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc

Maryland Gained Momentum Late Last Year

For much of last year, Maryland’s economic performance was among the worst in the nation. For instance, year-over-year job growth in the state was in negative territory or close to zero for most of the summer. But like the balance of the nation, economic performance began to materially improve toward the tail end of the year. For the 12 months ending in November 2011, employment in the Free State expanded 0.7 percent (+18,300 jobs), ranking the state 33rd along this dimension. That may not sound like anything to crow about, but just a few months prior, Maryland ranked dead last. Maryland’s subpar performance mid-year appears to have been closely linked to the nation’s debt ceiling debacle and the impact of that episode on federal agency spending, including upon procurement.

Exhibit 1. State-by-state Job Growth, 12-month Percent Change, November 2011

1st Mariner Blog - State-by-state Job Growth, November 2011

Through it all, Maryland has managed to sustain one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates. Statewide unemployment declined to 6.9 percent in November, the lowest level since June 2011. That is the 15th lowest unemployment rate in the country.

Other data is also largely encouraging. The most recent Maryland Survey of Business Activity conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond indicates that business activity in Maryland increased moderately in December. The general business activity index registered a reading of 7, a meaningful increase from -3 the previous month and the first positive reading since September. The expectations index, which declined 9 points to 22, indicated that while broadly positive expectations of general business conditions six months from now have moderated slightly, survey respondents continue to predict economic growth in the near term.

All of this is consistent with the notion that some of the factors that restrained growth in 2011, including federal government gridlock, sagging home prices and issues emerging from Europe, are likely to continue to shape economic performance during the first half of 2012. However, despite these and other headwinds, the state’s economy is anticipated to continue to grind ahead for now.

Anirban Basu is Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Basu is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s most recognizable economists, in part because of his consulting work on behalf of numerous clients, including prominent developers, bankers, brokerage houses, energy suppliers and law firms. On behalf of government agencies and non-profit organizations, Mr. Basu has written several high-profile economic development strategies, including co-authoring Baltimore City’s economic growth strategy. His opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of 1st Mariner Bank.

A Holiday Video Message from 1st Mariner Bank

by Erica Starr 20. December 2011

Happy Holidays from your 1st Mariner Bank family...

Every month we send out the 1st Mariner Bank eNewsletter that is aimed to keep you updated on 1st Mariner happenings. From information on our new and current products, to financial tips and advice from local experts, the 1st Mariner Exchange is just another way to keep you informed and equipped in your financial journey.

Not to mention, you get to help us avoid chopping down several trees in the process.

With the rush of the holiday season, the last thing we thought you’d have time to do is read another email. We thought, today, let’s 86 our traditional monthly eNewsletter and have a little fun for the holidays. (If you’d like to sign up for our eNewsletter, click here)

Over the past week, we went around and asked some of your favorite 1st Mariners a few questions about how they spend the holidays, their holiday likes and dislikes, and some fun holiday trivia. I mean, naming the reindeer is something everyone can do….right? Or not.

Wanna see how they did?

It’s a short, funny three-minute video holiday card that we hope you’ll enjoy as much as we do.

We’d like to sincerely thank you for affording us the privilege and opportunity to serve you.  Here’s to wishing you and your family a very happy and safe holiday season!

5 Things We're Thankful For This Holiday Season

by Erica Starr 22. November 2011

1st Mariner Bank Thank YouIt’s that time of year again. The time where friends and family come together to celebrate the many things they are thankful for in their lives.

Here at 1st Mariner Bank, we consider our customers to be a part of our family and hope that you feel the same. With that being said, we thought we’d share a few things that we’re thankful for this holiday season.

We’re thankful to serve the Baltimore community.

For the past 16 years, we’ve had the privilege of serving what we consider the “greatest city in America”. From Canton to Dundalk, to Towson to Glen Burnie, the neighborhoods and sense of community that make up our hometown truly makes the city of Baltimore one of a kind.

We’re thankful for the flexibility that we’re able to provide our Customers.

Being a local, community bank, we’re able to provide flexibility to our customers by making accommodations that big banks may not be able to provide. Have an issue or a concern regarding your banking relationship with us? Pick up the phone and give us a call…we’re sure there is something we can do.

We’re thankful for the 24/7 service that Online Banking and Mobile Money provides our Customers.

Whether you’re sitting at home on the computer, or enjoying your first pumpkin spiced latte in Canton square, we’re proud to offer our customers numerous convenient ways to monitor and access their money.

We’re thankful to offer a Personal Financial Management tool (Mariner360) to help our Customers meet their financial goals.

Do you have a financial goal? Mariner360 lets you personalize your goals, set alerts, and really drill-down on where you’re actually spending your money. Not to mention it aggregates all of your accounts…even accounts that aren’t with 1st Mariner.

And last, but certainly not least, we’re thankful for our Customers.

Without you we’d be nothing. Without you there wouldn’t be a 1st Mariner Bank. Everyday we are blown away by your continued loyalty and support. Over the years we’ve developed many personal, meaningful relationships that we hold very closely to our hearts.

We’d like to sincerely thank you for affording us the privilege and opportunity to serve you.

Here’s to wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday Season!



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