Legislative leaders received good news on Wednesday: state revenues are higher than expected as Washington continues to climb out of the hole created by the Great Recession.
The September report to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council shows that Washington's revenue collections for the 2013-15 biennium are $345 million higher than forecast in June. The report also shows an increase of $342 million for the 2015-17 biennium. Chief Economist Steve Lerch says revenues have reached pre-recession levels and that the increase is evidence of the state's continued recovery from the effects of the recession.
Lerch reports that consumer confidence in Washington continues to rise thanks to slow growth in the job market and an increase in housing prices. However, economic uncertainty remains high due to concern over the Chinese and European economies, federal fiscal policy and housing affordability.
While agreeing that the September report is certainly welcome news, Legislative budget writers agree that the increase is not likely to impact state spending during the 2014 session.
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