Official budget outlook adopted; economic forecast improved since March

By: Emily Makings
12:27 pm
June 9, 2021

Today the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) adopted an official budget outlook based on the operating budget passed by the Legislature (and accounting for vetoes). The ERFC also heard a presentation from Dr. Lerch on the preliminary economic forecast (which will help inform the June 23 revenue forecast). (The meeting materials, including the budget outlook, are here.)

According to the official outlook, the 2021–23 operating budget balances over four years, with an unrestricted ending fund balance of $83 million in 2023–25. Including the rainy day fund, total reserves at the end of 2023–25 are estimated to be $1.205 billion. (I wrote about last week’s outlook methodology meeting here.)

Some notable points from the economic review:

  • “Washington housing construction soared in the first quarter of 2021 to its highest level in nearly 43 years.”
  • “first quarter exports of agricultural products increased 79.4% but excluding likely transshipments of soybeans and corn, agricultural exports and total exports probably declined over the year.”
  • “We expect a 2.3% increase in Washington employment this year which is up from the 1.7% increase the March forecast.”
  • “Our forecast for nominal personal income growth this year is 6.1%, up from 4.8% in the March forecast.”
  • Revenue collections have so far come in $345.3 million above the March forecast. (The next collections report will be June 15.)
Categories: Budget , Economy.