Revenue forecast update puts 2019-21 budget into four-year balance

By: Kriss Sjoblom
7:06 pm
June 25, 2019

At its quarterly meeting today, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) updated its forecasts of state revenues. Adjustments to the forecasts reflected both actions taken by the legislature during the recent session (legislative changes) and revisions to the ERFC staff’s forecast for the state economy (economic changes).

Budget reports from legislative fiscal committees typically roll-up three accounts; the general fund–state, the education legacy trust account and the Washington opportunity pathways account. EFRC refers to this three-account roll-up as the near general fund state; budgeteers refer to the roll-up as “funds subject to the outlook” (NGFO). Under the four-year balanced budget requirement, a positive ending balance is required for both the current and the following bienniums.

For the NGFO, the forecast of revenue for the nearly completed 2017–19 biennium decreased by $47.3 million to $46,059.1 million; $2.2 million of the reduction was legislative, while $45.1 million was economic. The forecast for the 2019–21 biennium increased by $432.3 million to $50,987.6 million: $329.8 million of the increase was legislative, while $102.6 million was economic. Finally, the forecast for the 2021–23 biennium increased by $677.5 million, to $55,036.0 million; $604.6 million of the increase was legislative, while $72.9 million was economic. From 2017–19 to 2019–21, the forecasted NGFO growth rate is 10.7 percent; from 2017–2019 to 2019–21, the forecasted growth rate is 7.9 percent.

In this earlier post, Emily noted that the official budget outlook shows that the enacted 2019–21 budget fails to balance over four years. The additional revenues provided by today’s forecast are enough to put the 2019-21 budget into four-year balance.

The ERFC press release is here; slides from the meeting are here.

Categories: Budget , Categories , Economy.