In the first monthly report on actual tax collections since state lawmakers passed a new budget, existing state taxes are performing exactly as predicted. That is what was reported today by the state’s Office of Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.
In the three months since the last formal state revenue forecast, collections of state taxes are just $9 million over what was projected. That’s as close to spot on as can be expected when the state collected $3 billion over the same period. March collections were down a bit but previous months were up.
The next quarterly forecast is set for June 20.
Today’s report was not all positive news, however. The forecasters are worried about the slowing in job growth nationally.
“The U.S. economy has been sending mixed signals, with recent weak employment and (gross domestic product) growth but also higher disposable personal income, strong auto sales, and signs that the housing market may be stabilizing,” the monthly report stated.
Washington’s economy was giving mixed signals as well.
Employment growth in recent months has slightly outpaced the modest growth we expected in the February forecast but earlier estimates were revised down, leaving the current level of employment slightly lower than anticipated. Housing construction was stronger than expected in the first quarter but prices are still weak. Aerospace employment is still expanding, but at a slower rate than in 2011. The risks to a continued recovery in Washington are still high.
Washington’s economy continues to track closely with the February forecast. As in the forecast, we expect the Washington economy will continue to outperform the U.S. economy by a narrow margin. Downside risks, mainly from outside our borders, continue to outweigh upside risks.
Here is a link to the entire report from the forecast council.