The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released a preliminary look at the upcoming September economic forecast … and the news is slightly better. The preliminary forecast is based on a modified version of Global Insight’s August 2012 Control forecast for the U.S. economy, and while quite small, the new forecast is slightly stronger going into September. As reported by Steve Lerch, Interim Executive Director for the Council, since the June forecast the WA State economy has added 10,300 jobs, 3,500 better than the 6,800 expected in the June forecast. Further, total employment is 7,400 (0.2%) higher in July than expected in the June forecast. Manufacturing employment growth also remains strong, but construction employment growth remains weak, and government employment continues to decline.
The June forecast also assumed some backsliding in housing construction which did not materialize. Housing permits came in at 28,100 units in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 27,700 in the first quarter and 20,600 in the fourth quarter of 2011. And the current estimate of Washington personal income for the first quarter of 2012 is $4.4 billion (1.4%) higher than the June forecast.
Review of the forecast by the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors is scheduled for Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., in the Governor’s Conference Room.