Continued Economic Growth: November Revenue Forecast Adds $304 Million to 2017-19 Biennium, $186 Million More in 2019-21

Today’s official revenue forecast continues a steady run of good economic news for state budget writers. 

 The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released the November update of the revenue forecast. The General Fund-State revenue for the 2017-19 biennium has increased by $304 million, and revenue for the 2019-21 biennium has increased by $186 million. 

Nationally, the economic forecast is largely unchanged from September. The economic forecast for Washington is also similar to the September forecast; however, Washington has higher personal income than expected in September.

As we wrote earlier, monthly revenue collections were rolling in higher than the September forecast, so the upward revision was expected. Still, good news is no less welcome for being anticipated. The ERFC presents alternate forecasts as well.

Forecast of GF-S Revenue (probabilities in parenthesis): 2017-19 

Baseline (60%): $43.566 billion; $304 million higher than the previous forecast. 

Optimistic (15%): $45.003 billion; $1.438 billion more than the baseline forecast. 

Pessimistic (25%): $41.930 billion; $1.636 billion less than the baseline forecast. 

Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors: $43.231 billion; $335 million less than the baseline forecast. 

The ERFC also presented a revised budget outlook. Total reserves are projected to be $2.4 billion at the end of the 2017-19 biennium, dropping to $1.7 billion at the end of the 2019-21 biennium. Lawmakers are expected of adopt a supplemental budget in the 2018 session. The continued growth in collections, reflecting the state’s economic growth, will make that task a bit easier.