On August 29, members of the Oregon Legislature met to hear the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis’ quarterly revenue forecast. In a joint session of the Senate Finance and Revenue and the House Revenue committees, State Economist Mark McMullen released the Oregon Revenue Forecast and walked lawmakers though key projections. The report projected a small increase in state revenues of another $88 million (0.6%) for the 2011–13 biennium over the May forecast. However, McMullen warned legislators that continued weak growth will hurt state revenue projections in the long-run.
The $88-million increase comes as tax revenues are up across the board. The regional housing market is beginning to show signs of life and is helping to offset weaker market conditions among many of Oregon’s major manufacturers and exporters. If the trend holds, state government will have about $190 million in its ending balance at the close of this fiscal year. This balance will roll over into the state's rainy day fund.
However, long-term revenue projections remain weak. Manufacturing has slowed as global demand for Oregon goods has slowed and consumer spending has remained sluggish.
The full revenue forecast is available on the State Economist’s website.