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Washington Quarterly Revenue Projection Up $282 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—September 14 , 2007

OLYMPIA –The September revenue forecast for Washington state government shows projected General Fund revenue up by a combined $282 million for the recently concluded biennium and the next two year budget period.

Dr. Chang Mook Sohn, the state’s chief revenue forecaster, said that although economic and revenue growth is slowing, the state has yet to feel the full effects of the national housing slowdown. He cautioned, however, that credit availability nationally will likely tighten further and that the risk of a major U.S. economic downturn is higher now than it has been in several years.

Washington’s strong export markets have so far cushioned our economy from the national slowdown. Aerospace and other leading export industries are benefiting from a strong global economy and favorable currency exchange rates. Since the first quarter of 2005, Washington exports have increased by $8.4 billion or 109 percent.

“This forecast is yet another good sign that the Washington economy is still strong,” said Governor Chris Gregoire. “This news strengthens my conviction that we have made the right investments in education, health care, and jobs. But we also know that national economic trends can affect us here in Washington and we must continue to be fiscally responsible.”

Revenue for the recently concluded 2005-07 Biennium was revised upward by $69 million. For the current budget period, 2007-2009, the new forecast shows revenue up $213 million, resulting in total projected revenue for the biennium of $30.02 billion.

“Our economy remains resilient despite slowdowns in the rest of the nation,” added Victor Moore, director of the state budget office. “Job growth in Washington continues to outpace the national average.”

The revised forecast leaves $1.1 billion in unobligated General Fund revenue for 2007-09. The Governor and Legislature have proposed a constitutional amendment for the November ballot which would leave another $431 million in a protected rainy-day account.

“As we begin writing the supplemental budget, this forecast allows us to keep a substantial amount in reserves, including in the proposed rainy-day fund,” said Moore.

Contact: Glenn Kuper, Office of Financial Management, 360-902-7607