Another positive revenue update: Tax collections now $189.4 million above February forecast.

Today’s update from the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council continues a positive trend.

Major General Fund-State (GF-S) revenue collections for the May 11 – June 10, 2018 col-lection period came in $104.0 million (3.9%) above the February forecast. Cumulatively, collections are now $189.4 million (2.7%) higher than forecasted.

The update notes the strong national economy.

This month’s data again indicated an expanding economy. The labor market was healthy, with a strong increase in new jobs despite a rise in job cut announcements. Manufacturing activity continued to expand, truck and rail traffic were up and consumer confidence remained at high levels. However, auto sales were weaker and residential construction activity weakened.

The U.S. economy added 233,000 net new jobs in May. Employment data for March and April were revised up by 15,000 jobs. Sectors with notable employment gains in May included retail trade (+31,000), health care (+29,000), construction (+25,000), professional and technical services (+23,000), transportation and warehousing (+19,000) and manufacturing (+18,000).

And Washington continues to thrive.

We have four months of new Washington employment data since the February forecast was released. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose 25,800 (seasonally adjusted) in Feb-ruary, March, April, and May, which was 1,800 more than expected in the forecast. As is usually the case, the majority of the employment increase was due to private, servicesproviding industries, which added 18,300 net new jobs in the four-month period. Con-struction employment grew 3,100 and manufacturing employment increased 1,400. Gov-ernment payrolls expanded by 2,800 in February, March, April, and May.

Washington’s unemployment rate inched down to 4.7% in May from 4.8% in April. May’s 4.7% rate was the lowest since June 2007 when it reached an all-time low of 4.6%. A year ago, in May 2017, the Washington unemployment rate stood at 4.8%.

As always, the ERFC packs a lot of information into these brief reports. 

Across the country, states are experiencing revenue growth, reports Governing magazine.

After two straight years of lackluster revenue growth, state finances are on the upswing thanks in large part to a stable economy and a one-time boost from December’s federal tax overhaul.

As fiscal 2018 comes to a close on June 30 in most states, total revenue growth for the year is estimated at 4.9 percent. That’s the best year since 2015, according to the latest state fiscal survey from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO).

Now if we can just avoid a trade war…