Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. Stronger Washington

WA Economic Forecast: Mostly Sunny with Chance of Clouds
Author: Peter Abbarno
November 20, 2019

The Near General Fund revenue forecast for the biennium is $51.733 billion, an increase of $299 million and 12.3% more than that of the 2017-19 biennium, according to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

“This is good news for the State of Washington, said Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember. “It is my hope that the state Legislature does not create new, or increase existing, revenue sources in 2020. It is time to show some spending restraint and look for government efficiencies.”

The Near General Fund- State includes the General Fund-State, Education Legacy Trust Account and Washington Opportunity Pathways Account and provides the fullest picture of resources available for budget purposes.

Forecasted Near GF-S revenue for 2021-23 biennium has been increased by $181 million to $55.154 billion.

According to a press release by the ERFC, ‘U.S. and Washington economic forecasts are similar to the September forecast. The baseline forecast has slowing growth but no recession. The level of personal income is higher than in September due to revised historical data. Forecast risks include the impact of trade disputes and a slowing global economy.’

“The state Legislature and governor should be preserving the increased funds in anticipation of the slowing global economy and potential future slowdown,” added Abbarno. “Unfortunately, increased revenue and a sunny economic forecast is overcast by the excessive spending and creation of new programs during the past legislative session. Working families can’t afford new taxes and fees to support government programs created without reliable funding sources.”

The level of uncertainty in the baseline remains elevated, with downside risks outweighing upside risks. Washington’s economy is continuing to outperform the nation but not as dramatically as in the past.

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