September Economic and Revenue Update

Last Friday (September 11), the Forecast Council issued this month’s Economic and Revenue Update, reporting collection experience for the August 11 to September 10 period. This is the last key piece of information going into the next update to the state’s general fund revenue forecast.

State forecasters believe that the national economy has hit bottom, but expect the recovery to be tepid. It will be some time until it feels like the recession has ended.

Initiative 1033

The Research Council's analysis of Initiative 1033, which will be on the statewide ballot in November, has been posted here. The initiative would establish limits on the annual growth in revenue deposited in state, county and city general funds. Revenues above the limit would be rebated through property tax reductions.

Another Chart on Saving

The previous post discussed the recent upturn in the personal saving rate and the prospects that it will head even higher as the economy emerges from recession. In light of the recent increase in the saving rate, the following chart, which plots personal consumption expenditures as a share of gross domestic product, may seem anomalous.

Three Charts on Saving

Consumer spending is unlikely to lead the economy out of the current recession.

Seattle Taxable Retail Sales

Here is a chart of annual taxable retail sales in the city of Seattle for the years 1994 to 2008. To remove the effects of inflation, we have adjusted spending to 2008 values using the BLS's Seattle Consumer Price Index.

8.27.09 pic

Seattle's Lost Decade

An editorial in the current issue of the Puget Sound Business Journal promotes our recent Policy Brief, “Seattle’s Lost Decade”:

Econbrowser Not Seeing the Recovery

At the Econbrowser blog, James Hamilton remains unconvinced that the economy is recovering.