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Economic Forecast

During a typical forecast cycle, the Chief Economist and staff of the Forecast Council (ERFC) meet with the Forecast Work Group to discuss the preliminary U.S. and state economic forecasts.

ERFC produces preliminary economic forecasts for the U.S. and Washington. In September, he preliminary forecasts are then reviewed and discussed by the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors (GCEA) in the presence of the Governor and members of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Once the final economic forecasts for the U.S. and the state are completed, work begins on the General Fund-State revenue forecast. The economic forecasts are completed first because data from the economic forecasts are used to produce the revenue forecasts.

Behind the Numbers green bar

  • The final U.S. economic forecast is based on the March 2017 IHS-Markit (Global Insight) and Blue Chip consensus forecasts.
  • Wages and salaries were $0.1 billion higher than believed in November and other sources of personal income were $0.3 billion higher.
  • The forecast expected 21,500 single-family and 17,700 multi-family units for a total of 39,200 units in the fourth quarter. It is worth noting that the variance was nearly entirely in the multi-family segment. Permits came down to earth in January 2017 as the number of housing units authorized fell to 39,100  (SAAR) of which 22,600 were single-family and 16,600 were multi-family.

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