Gov. Bill Ritter‘s Office of State Planning and Budgeting released its March 2007 economic and revenue forecast today, the first forecast since the Ritter administration took office in January.


The five-year forecast period covers the current fiscal year (2006-07) through fiscal 2010-11.


Colorado‘s economy continues to strengthen in concert with broader national economic conditions,” said Todd Saliman, director of Gov. Ritter’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting. “Although some sectors are faring better than others, aggregate indicators like the unemployment rate, retail trade and wage growth have continued at positive, sustainable levels.”


Highlights from the Revenue Forecast:


·         The forecast shows a significant increase in individual income tax growth for 2006-07 from the December forecast (2.7 percent in December; 6.6 percent in March).


·         The forecast shows a $19 million decrease in the December sales-tax revenue forecast of $2 billion to reflect the impact of the holiday snow storms.


·         Total general fund revenues for 2006-07 are forecast to be $7.4 billion, up $165 million from the December forecast.


·         The forecast shows transportation funding through SB 97-1 and HB 1310 transfers totaling $1.3 billion for fiscal 2006-07, up from the December forecast of $437.6 million.


·         The forecast shows revenue for capital construction for fiscal 2006-07 at $275 million, a $74.6 million increase from the December forecast.


·         Under the provisions of Referendum C, the state is projected to retain $5.35 billion from fiscal 2005-06 through 2009-10. TABOR refunds will resume in 2010-11, with a projected refund of $30.8 million.


Highlights from the Economic Forecast:


·         Colorado‘s unemployment rate for 2006 was 4.3 percent, well below the 5 percent rate in 2005 and reflective of 52,800 new jobs added to the economy. The rate for 2007 is forecast to be 4.4 percent.


·         The 2006 consumer price index for the Denver-Boulder-Greeley area increased 3.6 percent after posting a 2.1 percent increase in 2005. The inflation forecast for 2007 is a 3.2 percent increase and for 2008 a 2.7 percent increase.


·         Colorado wage and salary income rose 7 percent through the third quarter of 2006 and is forecast to increase 6.3 percent in 2007 and 6 percent in 2008.