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Report: State revenues still $84 million ahead of forecast despite $8.4 million monthly slip

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm | No Comments »
February 11, 2013 4:20 pm

Stephen LerchThe state Economic and Forecast Council reported its monthly tax-collection tallies for the past 30 days today. It shows a $8.4 million drop in general-fund receipts over the past month but a running total that is $83.7 million ahead of November’s revenue forecast.

The full monthly report is here, and a news release from Stephen Lerch, the agency’s executive director, is here. The collections report is the first to reflect a full month of payroll tax increases that were part of Congress’ end-of-year maneuvers around the so-called financial fiscal cliff. The one-month dip was expected after higher than expected collections in the January report.

The council’s release said job growth was slightly below its November forecast. But in a sign the housing sector continues to heal, the news release said the construction sector added 1,800 jobs, far above the forecast of 800, and tax-collections for real-estate sales were outpacing forecasts:

Inflation in the Seattle metropolitan area has cooled substantially in the last six months. As of December 2013, the all items Seattle CPI was up just 1.4% over the previous December, down from 2.7% inflation in June. Seattle core inflation in December 2012 was 1.6%, down from 3.0% just six months earlier.

The Washington economy added 7,500 jobs in November and December which translates into a 1.6% seasonally adjusted annual rate of growth (SAAR). The November forecast had expected 4,600 net new jobs (1.7% growth, SAAR).

Cumulative General Fund-State collections are now $83.7 million (2.0%) greater than forecasted. Most of the positive cumulative variance is from real estate excise tax collections, which are $47.1 million higher than forecasted due to a larger-than-expected year-end surge to beat 2013 federal tax increases.

Revenue Act collections for the current period came in $24.6 million (2.1%) below the
November forecast. During the period there was an $8.9 million one-time payment for taxable activity prior to the current collection period. Without this payment, collections would have been $33.5 million (2.9%) less than forecasted. This shortfall, however, was anticipated due to the higher-than-expected receipts of the prior two months. Adjusted for large one-time payments and refunds in the current and year-ago periods, year-over-year Revenue Act collection growth was flat at 0.0%.

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