Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
C.D. Davidsmeyer, Co-Chair
Heather Steans, Co-Chair
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December 2019 Monthly Briefing
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.

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.
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.