June revenue forecast up very slightly from March projections; adds $170 million to anticipated revenues

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council met today to deliver the last official forecast of the fiscal year. The news was about what most expected following the economic review meeting earlier this month: a slight uptick in projected collections, but not nearly a big enough bump to affect budget negotiations. 

The ERFC press release sums it up this way:

The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released the final forecast of fiscal year 2017, including projections for the 2017-19 and 2019- 21 biennia. The General Fund-State (GF-S) revenue forecast has been increased by $81 million for the 2015-17 biennium and increased by $87 million for the 2017-19 biennium. Early estimates for the 2019-2021 estimate are increased by $34 million.

The level of uncertainty in the baseline forecast remains elevated, with downside risks outweighing upside risks. Major threats to the U.S. and Washington economies slow U.S. economic growth, weak labor productivity growth, and international trade concerns.

The release helps put the roughly $170 million in perspective.

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

Baseline (60%): $40.903 billion; $87 million higher than the previous forecast.

Optimistic (15%): $42.678 billion; $1.775 billion more than the baseline forecast.

Pessimistic (25%): $38.867 billion; $2.037 billion less than the baseline forecast.

Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors: $40.617 billion; $286 million less than the baseline forecast.

In all, it’s pretty much a no-change forecast. But, these days we might consider that good news. 

For those wanting more detail, the ERFC posts these documents:

Memo and comparison tables: http://www.erfc.wa.gov/forecasts/documents/p0617.pdf
Calendar year summary tables: http://www.erfc.wa.gov/forecasts/documents/t0617.pdf
Fiscal year summary tables: http://www.erfc.wa.gov/forecasts/documents/f0617.pdf