Economic and Revenue Forecast

(Originally posted 9/17/09)

I serve on the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council for Washington, and today we had our quarterly “Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors” meeting. The state economist makes some projects and the economists in the room argue about it for a couple of hours. This is more fascinating than you might think, or at least it’s interesting to me.

Dr. Raha’s full presentation can be found here. If you’re a numbers geek it’s worth reading.

The short story is that it looks like we’re at the bottom of the recession, but that the recovery will not be all that sudden. Employment recovery typically lags the economic recovery as companies put off hiring as long as they can to reduce risk. It looks like the residential housing market has hit bottom and started back up. This is one of the big drivers in the WA economy.

ERFC-1

The commercial real-estate market is another story, as are many of the local banks that invest heavily in these projects.

EFRC-2

The big teaser for us is the following slide. On sept. 17th we receive the revenue forecast, which has lots more data folded into it. This is a hopeful piece of data – we don’t want continued deterioration in the revenue model. I still expect us to enter the session with some significant work to do on the budget.

EFRC-3

About the Author

Ross
I am the Director of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State. I formerly represented the 48th Legislative District in the State House of Representatives, chairing the Appropriations committee and spent many a year at Microsoft.