Monthly revenue collections report show state tax dollars coming in above forecast. Exports up, state economy staying strong.

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council reports state revenue collections for the most recent month are coming in ahead of February’s forecast. 

Major General Fund-State (GF-S) revenue collections for the April 11 – May 10, 2018 col-lection period came in $80.1 million (4.7%) above the February forecast. During the col-lection period there were $9.9 million in large one-time payments not included in the forecast. Without these payments, collections would have been $70.2 million (4.1%) higher than forecasted. 

Revenue Act collections for the March 11 – April 10, 2018 collection period were revised upward by $20.3 million. With the revision and this month’s surplus, collections are now $85.4 million (2.0%) higher than forecasted. 

As we wrote previously, last month’s collections report, which showed collections below forecast, was affected by reporting changes. In this month’s report, ERFC cites several strong positives for the state:

For the second consecutive year, Washington ranked first in the na-tion in real GDP growth. In May, the U.S. Department of Com-merce, Bureau of Economic Analy-sis (BEA) released Real Gross Do-mestic Product (GDP) estimates by state through 2017. The 4.4% growth rate in Washington real GDP in 2017 was the largest among the states and District of Columbia and was significantly higher than the 2.1% growth rate for the U.S. as a whole (see fig-ure). This was the sixth consecu-tive year Washington GDP growth has exceeded the national average after lagging in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The difference between Washington GDP growth and U.S. GDP was almost entirely due to two sectors: information services (which includes software publishing and other IT information services such as internet publishing and web search portals) and retail trade (which includes electronic shopping). Between the two of them, these sectors con-tributed 2.1 percentage points more to Washington GDP growth than to U.S. GDP growth. 

Washington exports were up over the year for the second consecutive quarter. Exports in-creased 3.9% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. 

In all, a continuation of good news about the state’s economic growth.