Lawmakers received good news about the state's economy on Monday as economists from the legislature and the governor's office presented positive forecasts to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC).
Colorado's economy continues to outperform the national economy as we experience a growth in jobs, an improving housing market and increasing retail sales, especially automobiles. It is "among the most vibrant in the nation," according to the Legislative Council Staff.
Economists gave state lawmakers good news about Colorado's economy and state revenues in their quarterly forecasts to the Joint Budget Committee today.
Colorado's economy is growing at a steady pace and is outperforming the U.S. economy. In fact, it was growing faster during the summer months than previously thought. The data used for the September forecast has been revised upward, showing stronger growth in jobs and income, according to Natalie Mullis, the Legislative Council Staff's chief economist.
State revenues are expected to grow over the next two fiscal years and will be higher than projected in March, economists told the Joint Budget Committee today.
Even with this relatively strong growth, revenues are only now returning to pre-recession levels. In fact, the Office of State Planning and Budgeting stated, "Despite the growth, state general fund revenue is nearly $1 billion less (when adjusted for inflation) than it was five years ago."
Lawmakers received good news on the economic and budget fronts this morning.
State economists now estimate that the Colorado economy will continue to grow, albeit slowly, and generate enough revenue to maintain a balanced General Fund budget this year and next. This is a change from recent years, when the legislature and governor faced declining revenues and the need to make budget cuts.