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Washington Quarterly Revenue Projection Up $56.6 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Nov. 16, 2006

OLYMPIA – The November revenue forecast for Washington state government shows projected General Fund revenue over the next three fiscal years up by $56.6 million.

“The revenue forecast reinforces that our economy is strong,” said Governor Chris Gregoire. “We have to remain diligent and make smart investments based on what works and maintain an appropriate reserve.”  

For the last year of the current 2005-2007 budget cycle, the forecast shows revenue rising by $49 million from the prior quarterly forecast in September, bringing total revenue for the biennium to $27.366 billion.  For the coming biennium, beginning July 1, 2007, the new forecast shows revenue up by another $7.6 million, resulting in total revenue for the biennium of $29.533 billion.

Dr. Chang Mook Sohn, chief state revenue forecaster, said his latest quarterly projection reflects a still strong but slowing economy. Although revenue collections in the two months since the September forecast were higher than expected, the most recent monthly collections were below expectations. 

Dr. Sohn noted that, while the economy remains strong, we are seeing the first signs of a predicted slow down in revenue growth.  He said the exceptional growth in revenue over the past three years, far outpacing economic growth, was not sustainable, and predicted a return to average revenue growth for the remainder of this biennium and slower growth in FY 2008.

“The new forecast will serve as the basis for Governor Gregoire’s two-year budget proposal,” added Victor Moore, director of the state budget office.  “We will continue to propose expenditures based on evidence of effectiveness, and based on what our citizens need the most.”

For the 2005-2007 Biennium, the new forecast leaves $1.142 billion in general fund and other reserves.

CONTACT: Glenn Kuper, 360-902-7607