AUGUSTA — State revenues are nearly $6 million higher than projected for the first quarter of the fiscal year that started July 1, a state official said today.

Michael Allen, director of economic research at Maine Revenues Services, told members of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee that corporate profits are the primary reason for the better-than-expected number.

“Businesses remain profitable,” he said. “They have cash. They are out investing.”

However, he noted that incomes for most people are growing slowly.

“Consumers continue to be in very tight situations,” he said.

Among the areas of concern are the cost of food, gasoline and home heating oil, and debt uncertainty in Europe and the U.S., he said.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Rosen, R-Bucksport, asked if there was reason to be optimistic as he and others work to keep the state budget in balance.

“You used the word stability,” Allen said in response to the question. “That’s not a word anybody is comfortable using in this environment.”