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Washington quarterly revenue projection flat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 17, 2010

OLYMPIA –The June revenue forecast for Washington state government shows projected General Fund revenue down $3 million, which is essentially a flat forecast.  The forecast covers the remainder of this biennium (2009-11) as well as the next budget period (2011-13).  The figure was released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Dr. Arun Raha, the state’s chief revenue forecaster, said, “The economic recovery lost some steam in May, but remains on track for the moderate growth we have been predicting.  Recoveries are not smooth events, and this one is no exception.  We expect the economy to gain traction over the summer, and close out the year on a more positive note.”

“Washington is on track for a stronger and quicker recovery than other states, a fact recently confirmed by a Moody’s Economy.com study,” Governor Chris Gregoire said.  “But we still face many challenges before the economy really begins to grow and our revenues significantly improve.”

Revenue for the current budget period, 2009–11, is projected to decrease $203 million, resulting in total projected General Fund revenue for the biennium of $29 billion. Revenue for the next budget period, 2011–13, is projected to increase $200 million, resulting in total projected General Fund revenue for the biennium of $34 billion.

“The relatively small change is a positive sign that the revenue situation has stabilized,” said Marty Brown, director of the state Office of Financial Management. “We are already in the process of looking toward next biennium and determining what our next budget will look like.”

The forecast projects an ending fund balance for 2009-11 of $253 million including a rainy-day fund balance of $6 million.