Washington state’s economy has been a mixed bag, according to a Friday morning presentation to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council by Executive Director Steve Lerch. On the positive side, revenue collections remain higher than expected for the time being.
“And right now, if we look at our revenue collections since the November forecast, we have a positive variance of $89 million,” Lerch said.
Lerch conceded that a recession is likely, according to economic forecasters in general, but did provide some reassuring context. “Again, a lot of economists are not very optimistic,” he said, referencing recent surveys that show a majority of economists expect a recession to begin later this year.
According to a February survey by the National Association for Business Economics, 58% of 48 economists who responded envision a recession sometime this year.
A January Wall Street Journal survey found that 61% of business and academic economists expect a recession in the next 12 months. The relatively good news, according to Lerch, is the likely nature of any possible recession. “I think the general consensus is that recession would be mild, but that tends to be the thinking across a lot of forecasters,” he said.