Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
HOUSE
C.D. Davidsmeyer, Co-Chair
SENATE
Heather Steans, Co-Chair
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December 2019 Monthly Briefing
HEADING INTO 2020
Julie Bae, Pension Analyst/Economic Specialist

The U.S. economy grew at a pace of 2.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to the advance estimate released in December by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The U.S. unemployment rate is currently at 3.5%, a 50-year low, and 266,000 new jobs were added in November, above the average monthly gain of 180,000 in 2019. Personal income also gained 0.5% and real disposable personal income rose 0.4% in November. Personal consumption expenditures, a measure of how much consumers spend on goods and services, were up 3.9% in November from a year earlier, or a 0.4% up from the previous month.

REVENUE: RECEIPTS INCREASE MODESTLY IN DECEMBER
Jim Muschinske, Revenue Manager

Base December revenues increased by $51 million. While the larger economically related sources fared well, a drop in federal source revenues coupled with declines in a variety of other revenue lines, served to limit monthly gains. December had one more receipting day as compared to last fiscal year.
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Excluding proceeds from the Treasurer’s Investment program as well as interfund borrowing, through the first half of the fiscal year, base general funds receipts have posted gains of $1.366 billion. Those increases have been driven by specific transfers [Refund Fund and Capital Projects], stronger federal sources, court settlement proceeds, tax amnesty program efforts, and decent underlying performance from the larger economically related sources.

Gross personal income taxes are ahead of last year by $550 million, or $487 million net, while gross corporate income taxes are up $163 million, or $146 million net. Gross sales taxes are up $116 million, or $161 million net. The performance of the remaining revenue sources have been mixed, but have experienced a combined $5 million decline.

Aided by gains associated to Refund Fund and Capital Projects Fund transfers, overall transfers to the general funds are up $446 million. Federal sources, despite the past couple of weak months, are still up $131 million through December.