Monthly forecast update shows revenues beating expectations, Washington earnings growth strongest in nation.

Washington’s economy continues to outperform the nation, according to the latest monthly update from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. Collections are running ahead of expectations, though affected by the timing of a transfer, which reduces money into the general fund.

Major General Fund-State (GF-S) revenue collections for the June 11 РJuly 10, 2019 collection period came in $132.5 million (8.0%) above the June forecast, but $84.7 million of that amount represented a transfer of funds out of the GF-S that did not occur as expected in June but will occur in July. Adjusted for the delayed transfer, collections are $47.8 million (2.9%) higher than forecasted. While the transfer will occur in July, it will still accrue to fiscal year 2019, which ended on June 30. The transfer, estimated at $84.7 million, will move fiscal year 2019 collections of the supplemental property tax levy to the Education Legacy Trust Account.

That’s one of the reasons we’re not fans of dedicated accounts; they complicate things that should be more straightforward. But, regardless, things are going well in the state collections department, as the ERFC graph below shows.

But the positive economic news doesn’t end there. The report points out,

In June, after the forecast was complete, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released state personal income estimates for the first quarter of 2019. According to these estimates, Washington personal income rose to $471.5 billion (SAAR) in the first quarter from $466.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. The reported 4.3% growth rate (SAAR) in Washington personal income was the 15th largest among the states and District of Columbia and exceeded the 3.4% growth rate for the U.S. as a whole. Washington earnings growth was actually first in the nation at 5.2% (SAAR) compared to the 2.8% national aver- age, but property income (dividends, interest, and rent) growth ranked 42nd at -4.8% compared to -4.3% for the nation. Washington transfer receipts growth was about average at 15.4% compared to 15.5% with a rank of 27th among the states and District of Columbia.

The ERFC breaks it down in the graph below.

A good report.