New monthly collections report shows state revenues coming in 2.1 percent above June forecast, job growth on track

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released its Economic and Revenue Update for August 11 – September 10. It’s again mostly good news. 

We have two months of new Washington employment data since the June forecast was released. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose 13,800 (seasonally adjusted) in June and July, which was 10,600 more than the 3,200 expected in the June forecast. The manufacturing sector accounted for much of the variance in job growth, adding 500 jobs in the two-month period; the June forecast expected a reduction of 3,900 jobs. The reason was mostly aerospace which was expected to shed 3,700 jobs but instead added 100. Construction employment increased 1,100 and government payrolls expanded by 1,400 jobs. As is usually the case, the bulk of the job growth was in private, service-providing sectors which added 10,800 jobs in the last two months. ..

Major General Fund-State revenue collections for the August 11 – September 10, 2017 collection period came in $18.6 million (1.3%) above the June forecast. Cumulatively, collections are now $94.3 million (2.1%) higher than forecasted. Since the June forecast, there have been $19.2 million in net large refunds that were not included in the forecast. Had the refunds not occurred, cumulative collections would have been $113.5 million (2.5%) higher than forecasted. 

These monthly updates are a good way to track changes in the state and national economy. Here’s the bullet point summary:

  •  The U.S. labor market added 156,000 net new jobs in August; June and July data were revised down by a combined 41,000 jobs. 

  •  Nationally, residential construction activity and home sales slowed. 

  •  U.S. real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.0% in the second quarter. 

  •  Washington employment growth is on track. 

  •  Washington exports are down due to aerospace. 

  •  Major General Fund-State revenue collections for the August 11 – September 10, 2017 collection period came in $18.6 million (1.3%) above the June fore-cast. 

  •  Cumulatively, collections are now $94.3 million (2.1%) higher than forecasted. 

  •  Since the June forecast, there have been $19.2 million in net large refunds that were not included in the forecast. Had the refunds not occurred, cumulative collections would have been $113.5 million (2.5%) higher than forecasted