The state’s strong economy continues to beat official expectations. According to the latest report from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (from which the above graph was taken),
Major General Fund-State revenue collections for the April 11 – May 10, 2017 collection period came in $52.3 million (3.5%) above the March forecast. Cumulatively, collections are now $44.4 million (1.6%) higher than forecasted.
Last month, revenues came in slightly below forecast, however, the report noted the strength of the economy. The trend seems solid. And, as we wrote yesterday, Washington’s best-in-the-nation 2016 GDP growth is not a fluke. The state economy, led by the metropolitan Puget Sound region’s vibrant tech sector, is poised for sustained growth. The ERFC commented on the GDP report.
The 3.7% growth rate in Washington real GDP in 2016 was the largest among the states and District of Columbia and was significantly higher than the 1.5% growth rate for the U.S. as a whole. This was the fifth consecutive year Washington GDP growth has exceeded the national average after lagging in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The 2.2 percentage point differential between Washington GDP growth and U.S. GDP growth in 2016 was mostly due to two sectors: information (which includes software publishing and other IT information services) and retail trade (which includes electronic shopping). Between the two of them, these sectors contributed 1.4 percentage points more to Washington GDP growth than to U.S. GDP growth.
Here’s how ERFC summarizes yesterday’s economic and revenue update.
U.S. labor markets added 211,000 net new jobs in April.
U.S. real GDP grew at a weak 0.7% (SAAR) in the first quarter.
Nationally, average hourly earnings continued a trend of modest growth, in- creasing seven cents in April.
Seattle home prices continue to rise very rapidly.
Washington real GDP growth was significantly higher than the national average in 2016.
Major General Fund-State revenue collections for the April 11 – May 10, 2017 collection period came in $52.3 million (3.5%) above the March forecast.
Cumulatively, collections are now $44.4 million (1.6%) higher than forecasted.
Again, good news for budget writers.