The Washington State Revenue Forecast Council released updated numbers for the month of July and the news is good … modestly. Revenues since the mid-June forecast were $66.5 million above the agency’s initial forecast. But, according to The Olympian, interim forecaster Steve Lerch sounded a note of caution. “Due to the high variability of monthly Revenue Act receipts, it is too soon to tell whether this month’s Revenue Act variance represents a real increase in collections or if it will be at least partially reversed next month.”
Lerch goes on to caution that the the June’s “ US employment report of only 80,000 new jobs indicates that the labor market remains weak and businesses are cautious about adding new workers. To put this in context, employment gains of approximately 160,000 each month for the next year would be needed to reduce the unemployment rate by 0.5%.
He also warns that the the Washington economy continues to grow at a moderate pace and, much like the national experience, Washington employment growth has slowed down after a strong start at the beginning of the year.
These higher collections and recent caseload forecasts push the state’s total general fund reserves, including the Rainy Day Fund, above $410 million through June 2013.
You can access the full report here.