Washington State’s revenue projections are in better shape than predicted, according to a recently-released Economic and Revenue Forecast Council monthly update.
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The update covered the period from July 11 to Aug. 10 2021. One of the big takeaways is that Washington exports of transportation equipment, mostly of Boeing airplanes, increased for the first time in two-and-a-half years. Over the prior year, transportation equipment exports have risen 241%. Agriculture exports increased slightly, excluding soybeans and corn, and exports from all other sectors increased 20% over the year.
Car and truck sales also increased in July after declining in May and June. Seasonally adjusted registrations increased 4.3% in July after declining 5.8% in May and 12.2% in June.
Revenue Act taxes consisting of sales, use, B&O, utility and tobacco product taxes and associated penalty and interest payments came in $58.7 million higher than the June forecast. Cumulatively, collections are now $45.3 million higher than forecasted due to the prior month’s shortfall.
One of the most significant revenue increases came by way of the real estate excise tax (REET), which clocked in at $55.5 million, 41.7% higher than forecasted.
The report states:
“The variance was entirely due to a spike in sales of large commercial property (property valued at $10 million or more), which jumped to $2.56 billion after last month’s sum of $847 million.”
Some national statistics from the report also include:
- U.S. employment increased by 943,000 jobs in July; the unemployment rate decreased to 5.4%.
- U.S. real GDP grew by 6.5% in the second quarter.
- For the 12 months ending July 2021, consumer prices increased by 5.4%.
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