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Tag: Arun Raha


State forecaster Arun Raha will step down

Somebody else will have to be the bearer of bad news for state government.

That’s been Arun Raha’s role for the past three years. As the state’s chief economist, he projects Washington’s revenues and delivers quarterly reports that say how close they’re tracking to those estimates. As such, he’s one of the more visible people in state government.

Raha today turned in his resignation, effective Jan. 31.

“I got a very good offer from the private sector,” he said, declining to say what his next job will be. He has scheduled a news conference for noon.

He says he’ll miss

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Revenue forecast drops slightly

The Legislature will have to tackle a $1.4 billion budget shortfall.

That number ticked up ever so slightly this morning after state economist Arun Raha lowered Washington’s revenue forecast by $122 million.

In total, he expects $30.2 billion in general-fund revenue in the 2011-13 budget period we are in now.

That’s up from $28.2 billion in the last period, but it’s still short of the $31.7 billion lawmakers budgeted this winter to be spent.


Washington state economist still pretty glum about state, national, economic outlook

In a memo prepared for next month’s meeting of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, the state Office of the Forecast Council remains pessimistic about the economy over the next two years.

In the “Preliminary November 2011 Economic Forecast,” the office says most economic measures are confirming the dour September forecast that drove the state’s budget hole into the $2 billion range. Those indicators that showed more positive results were due to the fact that the September forecast had such low expectations.

Here’s what it says about the national economy:

The U.S. economy did not worsen in the last month,

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Preliminary September economic forecast for Washington state is depressing, as expected

State economist Arun Raha and his staff at the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council have been signaling this for the last two months as state revenue collections have soured. But seeing it in black and white makes it clear that the next quarterly forecast will add to the state’s budget problems.

The preliminary forecast is reviewed by the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors on Sept. 2 and both reports go into the actual forecast of revenue that will be presented September 15 to the state revenue forecasting council made up of legislators and the governor’s budget director and revenue director.

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Washington state revenue collections down a bit in June; Don’t worry, counsels economist Arun Raha

The July collections report was just released by state economist Arun Raha and the bottom line that most state budget writers and state budget beneficiaries look for is this – collections from existing state taxes was $22.3 million below what was expected in the quarterly forecast released just three weeks ago.

But Raha quickly adds that the lower collections are expected based on his current view of the immediate future – short-term slowing in the national and state economies followed by a firming up in the second half of 2011.

“Collections are consistent with the forecasted slowing of second quarter

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Revenue forecast knocks budget cushion down

UPDATE 11:54 a.m.

A new revenue forecast released this morning taxed reporters’ brains. Some would say that’s not hard to do.

But the reason heads were hurting was because of a weird discrepancy: State Economist Arun Raha‘s forecast for tax collections shrank by only a small amount from his March estimate ($12 million — or $183 million if you start counting next month after most of the effects wear off from a big windfall, the state’s tax amnesty program). But lawmakers and the governor’s office said it reduced their budget cushion by a whopping $575 million.

Just a

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March revenue collections up a bit, won’t help with budget problem but won’t make it worse, either.

Okay, it’s only $5.1 million.

But the fact that the first month of actual tax collections since the most-recent devastating state economic and revenue forecast is up and not down is good news. Well, at least it passes for good news.

State economist Arun Raha issues monthly updates to his quarterly forecast. In normal times they are mostly ignored. Now they are anticipated as a means to keep tabs on whether current taxes are going to raise what they are expected to raise.

For one month, the answer is yes. The state’s major tax sources – sales, property and business

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January tax collections suggest March state revenue forecast will be flat at best

An update of state tax collections released today suggests that the March Miracle some budget writers are dreaming of may not materialize.

March 17 is when the next state revenue forecast will be approved and it is that report that will be used to write the 2011-13 budget. Some have been hoping that it will show a sooner-than-expected economic recovery and a higher-than-predicted revenue estimate. Any amount that is above the November forecast would be welcome.

But Friday’s February update shows that collections are actually down from what was projected. While some of that is due to non-economic reasons

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