MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS (MDA)

The following is a discussion and analysis of the State's financial performance and condition providing an overview of the State's activities for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. The information provided here should be read in conjunction with the letter of transmittal and in the basic financial statements.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Government-wide:
The primary government's liabilities and deferred inflows of resources exceeded assets and deferred outflows of resources by $38.1 billion (reported as net position deficit). Of this amount, $46.8 billion reported as unrestricted net position deficit while $11.5 billion is restricted for specific uses or invested in capital assets.

Net position deficit of governmental activities decreased by $2.1 billion and net position of business-type activities increased by $718.2 million. Component units reported an increase of $111.4 million from June 30, 2014.

As a result of implementing GASB Statement 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, the State recorded $2,360.8 billion deferred outflows of resources, $24,568.3 billion net pension liability, and $1,423.3 billion deferred inflows of resources for the primary government. As explained in Note 22 this was the primary reason for a $25.6 billion adjustment to the beginning unrestricted net position in fiscal year 2015.

Fund:
The governmental funds reported combined ending fund balance of $2.1 billion, an increase of $0.1 million in comparison with the prior year. Of this total fund balance, $190.5 million represents nonspendable fund balance, $2.1 billion represents restricted fund balance, $585.5 million represents committed fund balance, and $22.3 million represents assigned fund balance. A negative $801.9 million unassigned fund balance offsets these amounts. This deficit, which belongs primarily to the General Fund, increased by $66.9 million during the fiscal year.

The State's stabilization account, the General Fund Budget Reserve Account (Rainy Day Fund) ended the fiscal year with a balance of $406.0 million.

The Enterprise funds reported net position of $5.5 billion at year-end, an increase of $718.2 million during the year, substantially all of which was invested in capital assets or restricted for specific purposes.

Long-Term Debt:
Total long-term debt was $57.3 billion for governmental activities at year-end, of which $22.4 billion was bonded debt.

Total long-term debt was $2.1 billion for business-type activities at year-end, of which $1.6 billion was bonded debt.

OVERVIEW OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

This discussion and analysis is an introduction to the State's basic financial statements. The State's basic financial statements comprise three components: 1) government-wide financial statements, 2) fund financial statements, and 3) notes to the financial statements. The report also contains other supplementary information to provide additional support to the basic financial statements.

Government-wide Financial Statements:
The government-wide financial statements are designed to provide readers with a broad overview of the State's finances, in a manner similar to a private-sector business. All revenues and expenses are recognized regardless of when cash is received or spent, and all assets, deferred outflows of resources, liabilities and deferred inflows of resources, including capital assets and long-term debt, are reported at the entity level. The government-wide statements report the State's net position and changes in net position. Over time, increases and decreases in net
position measure whether the State's overall financial condition is getting better or worse. Non-financial factors such as the State's economic outlook, changes in its demographics, and the condition of capital assets and infrastructure should also be considered when evaluating the State's overall condition.

The statement of net position presents information on all of the State's assets and deferred outflows of resources, and liabilities and deferred inflows of resources with the difference between all reported as net position. Net position is displayed in three components - net investment in capital assets; restricted; and unrestricted.

The statement of activities presents information showing how the State's net position changed during fiscal year 2015. All changes in net position are reported as soon as the underlying event giving rise to the change occurs, regardless of the timing of the related cash flows. Thus, revenues and expenses are reported in this statement for some items that will result in cash flows in future fiscal periods (e.g., uncollected taxes and earned but unused vacation leave).

Both the Statement of Net Position and Statement of Activities report three separate activities. These activities are described as follows:

Fund Financial Statements:

A fund is a grouping of related accounts that is used to maintain control over resources that have been segregated for specific activities or objectives. The State uses fund accounting to ensure and demonstrate compliance with finance-related legal requirements. All of the funds of the State can be divided into three categories: governmental funds, proprietary funds, and fiduciary funds. Each of these categories uses different accounting approaches. Fund financial statements begin on page 36.

Because the focus of governmental funds is narrower than that of the government-wide financial statements, it is useful to compare the information presented for governmental funds with similar information presented for governmental activities in the government-wide financial statements. By doing so, readers may better understand the long-term impact of the State's near-term financing decisions. Both the governmental fund balance sheet and the governmental fund statement of revenues, expenditures, and changes in fund balance provide a reconciliation to facilitate the comparison between governmental funds and governmental activities. These reconciliations are presented on the page immediately following each governmental fund financial statement.
 
The State reports five individual governmental funds. Information is presented separately in the governmental fund statements for the General Fund, Debt Service Fund, Transportation Fund, Restricted
Grants and Accounts Fund, and Grants and Loan Programs Fund, all of which are considered major funds. Data from the other eighteen governmental funds is combined into a single, aggregated presentation. Individual fund data for each of these nonmajor governmental funds is provided in the combining statements immediately following the required supplementary information.
The State reports five individual proprietary funds. Information is presented separately in the proprietary fund statements for the University of Connecticut and Health Center, State Universities, Connecticut Community Colleges, Employment Security, and Clean Water all of which are considered major funds. Data from the other enterprise funds is combined into a single, aggregated presentation. Individual fund data for all nonmajor proprietary funds is provided in the combining statements immediately following the required supplementary information.

Notes to the Financial Statements

The notes to the financial statements provide additional information that is essential to a full understanding of the data provided in the government-wide and fund financial statements. The notes to the financial statements can be found immediately following the component unit fund financial statements.

Required Supplementary Information (RSI)

Following the basic financial statements are budgetary comparison schedules for major and nonmajor funds with legally adopted budgets. In addition, within the RSI there is a reconciliation schedule for budgetary vs. GAAP basis of accounting. The RSI also includes information regarding the State's funding progress and employer contributions for pension and other postemployment benefits, and change in employers' net pension liability.

Other Information

The combining financial statements for the State's nonmajor governmental, nonmajor enterprise, nonmajor fiduciary funds, and nonmajor discretely presented component units. This also includes the statistical section, which provides up to ten years of financial, economic, and demographic information.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS OF THE GOVERNMENT AS A WHOLE

NET POSITION
The combined net position deficit of the State decreased $2.7 billion or 6.6 percent. In comparison, last year the combined net position deficit increased $1.8 billion or 16.9 percent.

State Of Connecticut's Net Position
(Expressed in Millions)

Total Primary
Governmental Activities Business-Type Activities Government
2015 2014* 2015 2014 2015 2014
ASSETS
Current and Other Assets $4,566 $4,274 $4,104 $3,753 $8,670 $8,027
Capital Assets 13,031 12,540 4,151 3,781 17,182 16,321
Total Assets 17,597 16,814 8,255 7,534 25,852 24,348
Deferred Outflows of Resources 2,461 99 16 21 2,477 120
LIABILITIES
Current Liabilities 4,149 3,665 829 728 4,978 4,393
Long-term Liabilities 55,311 56,031 1,926 2,029 57,237 58,060
Total Liabilities 59,460 59,696 2,755 2,757 62,215 62,453
Deferred Inflows of Resources 1,423 - 17 17 1,440 17
NET POSITION
Net Investment in Capital Assets 4,958 5,777 3,449 3,169 8,407 8,946
Restricted 1,885 1,795 1,154 1,068 3,039 2,863
Unrestricted (47,668) (50,494) 896 544 (46,772) (49,950)
Total Net Position (Deficit) $(40,825) $(42,922) $5,499 $4,781 $(35,326) $(38,141)
*Restated for comparative purposes

The net position deficit of the State's governmental activities decreased $2.1 billion (4.9 percent) to $40.8 billion during the current fiscal year. As a result of implementing GASB Statement 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, the State recorded $2,360.8 billion deferred outflows of resources, $24,568.3 billion net pension liability, and $1,423.3 billion deferred inflows of resources for the primary government.

Total invested in capital assets net of related debt was $5.0 billion (buildings, roads, bridges, etc.) and $1.9 billion was restricted for specific purposes, resulting in an unrestricted net position deficit of $47.7 billion. This deficit is the result of having long-term obligations that are greater than currently available resources. The State has recorded the following outstanding long-term obligations which contributed to the deficit; a) general obligation bonds issued in the amount of $9.5 billion to finance various municipal grant programs (e.g., school construction) and $2.2 billion issued to finance a contribution to a pension trust fund, and b) other long-term obligations in the amount of $36.5 billion, which are partially funded or not funded by the State (e.g., net pension liability and OPEB obligations and compensated absences).

Net position of the State's business-type activities increased $718.2 million (15.0 percent) to $5.5 billion during the current fiscal year. Of this amount, $3.4 billion was invested in capital assets and $1.2 billion was restricted for specific purposes, resulting in unrestricted net positions of $0.9 billion. These resources cannot be used to make up for the net position deficit of the State's governmental activities. The State can only use these net positions to finance the ongoing operations of its Enterprise funds (such as the University of Connecticut and Health Center and others).

CHANGE IN NET POSITION

Changes in net position for the years ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 were as follows:

State of Connecticut's Changes in Net Position
(Expressed in Millions)

Governmental Activities Business-Type Activities Total % change
2015 2014* 2015 2014 2015 2014* 15-14
REVENUES
Program Revenues
Charges for Services $1,902 $1,726 $2,600 $2,546 $4,502 $4,272 5.4%
Operating Grants and Contributions 7,096 6,497 676 780 7,772 7,277 6.8%
Capital Grants and Contributions 717 610 33 28 750 638 17.6%
General Revenues
Taxes 15,707 15,257 - - 15,707 15,257 2.9%
Casino Gaming Payments 268 280 - - 268 280 -4.3%
Lottery Tickets 320 320 - - 320 320 0.0%
Other 141 224 12 13 153 237 -35.4%

Total Revenues

26,151 24,914 3,321 3,367 29,472 28,281 4.2%
EXPENSES
Legislative 108 123 - - 108 123 -12.2%
General Government 1,713 2,060 - - 1,713 2,060 -16.8%
Regulation and Protection 1,028 905 - - 1,028 905 13.6%
Conservation and Development 922 997 - - 922 997 -7.5%
Health and Hospital 2,172 2,624 - - 2,172 2,624 -17.2%
Transportation 1,762 1,985 - - 1,762 1,985 -11.2%
Human Services 6,736 8,273 - - 6,736 8,273 -18.6%
Education, Libraries, and Museums 4,396 4,638 - - 4,396 4,638 -5.2%
Corrections 1,820 2,143 - - 1,820 2,143 -15.1%
Judicial 874 1,005 - - 874 1,005 -13.0%
Interest and Fiscal Charges 797 922 - - 797 922 -13.6%
University of Connecticut & Health Center - - 2,155 2,050 2,155 2,050 5.1%
State Universities - - 781 716 781 716 9.1%
Connecticut Community Colleges - - 538 514 538 514 4.7%
Employment Security - - 751 1,060 751 1,060 -29.2%
Clean Water - - 35 40 35 40 -12.5%
Other - - 69 73 69 73 -5.5%
Total Expenses 22,328 25,675 4,329 4,453 26,657 30,128 -11.5%
Excess (Deficiency) Before Transfers 3,823 (761) (1,008) (1,086) 2,815 (1,847)
Transfers (1,726) (1,548) 1,726 1,548 - -
Special Item - 31 - - - 31
Increase (Decrease) in Net Position 2,097 (2,278) 718 462 2,815 (1,816)
Net Position (Deficit) - Beginning (as restated) (42,922) (40,644) 4,781 4,319 (38,141) (36,325)
Net Position (Deficit) - Ending (40,825) (42,922) 5,499 4,781 (35,326) (38,141) -7.4%
*Restated for comparative purposes

GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES
The following graph is a representation of the Statement of Activities revenues for governmental activities. Governmental activities revenues increased by $1.2 billion, or 5.0 percent. This increase is primarily due to an increase of $599 million from operating grants and contributions.

Revenues - governmental activities - 2015

The following graph is a representation of the Statement of Activities expenses for governmental activities. Governmental activities expenses decreased by $3.3 million, or 13.0 percent. The decrease is mainly attributable to decreased spending in human services.

Expenses - Governmantal activities - 2015

NET POSITION OF BUSINESS-TYPE ACTIVITIES
Net position of business-type activities increased by $718.2 million during the fiscal year. The following chart highlights the changes in net position for the major enterprise funds.

Business-Type Activities Program Revenue and Expenses fy 2015


During the year, total revenues of business-type activities remained steady at $3.3 billion, while total expenses decreased 2.8 percent to $4.3 billion. In comparison, last year total revenues decreased 10.1 percent, while total expenses decreased 4.7 percent. The decrease in total expenses of $124 million was due mainly to a decrease in Employment Security expenses of $309.0 million or 29.2 percent. Although, total expenses exceeded total revenues by $1,008 million, this deficiency was reduced by transfers of $1,726 million, resulting in an increase in net position of $718.2 million.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS OF THE STATE'S GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS

As of the end of the fiscal year, the State's governmental funds had fund balances of $2,109.4 million, an increase of $12.3 million over the prior year ending fund balances. Of the total governmental fund balances, $2,113 million represents fund balance that is considered restricted for specific purposes by external constrains or enabling legislation; $190.5 million represents fund balance that is non-spendable; $607.8 million represents fund balance that is committed or assigned for specific purposes. A negative $801.9 million unassigned fund balance offsets these amounts.

General Fund

The General Fund is the chief operating fund of the State. At the end of the fiscal year, the General Fund had a fund balance deficit of $189.8 million, an increase of $148.7 million in comparison with the prior year. Of this total fund balance, $603.4 million represents non-spendable fund balance or committed for specific purposes, leaving a deficit of $793.2 million in unassigned fund balance.

At the end of fiscal year 2015, General Fund revenues were 3.2 percent, or $553.4 million, higher than fiscal year 2014 revenues. This change in revenue results from increases of $747 million primarily attributable to taxes ($525.4 million) and federal grants and aid ($221.6 million). These increases were offset by decreases of $193.6 million primarily attributable to licenses, permits, and fees ($57.2 million), casino gaming payments ($11.9 million), charges for services ($4.7 million), fines, forfeits, and rents ($78.9 million), and other revenue ($40.9 million).

At the end of fiscal year 2015, General Fund expenditures were 2.1 percent, or $344.6 million, higher than fiscal year 2014. This was primarily attributable to increases in education, corrections, and judicial of $535.6 million, $41.5 million, and $38.7 million, respectively. Net other financing sources and uses decreased by $903.6 million, which is primarily due to bonds not being issued in fiscal year 2015.

Debt Service Fund

At the end of fiscal year 2015, the Debt Service Fund had a fund balance of $668.4 million, all of which was restricted, an increase of $.9 million in comparison with the prior year.

Transportation Fund

The State's Transportation Fund had a fund balance of $257.3 million at the end of fiscal 2015. Of this amount, $29.4 million was in nonspendable form and $227.9 million was restricted or committed for specific purposes. Fund balance increased by 30.7 million during the current fiscal year.

At the end of fiscal year 2015, Transportation Fund revenues decreased by $21.1, or 1.5 percent, and expenditures increased by $52.7 million, or 6.2 percent. The decreased revenue is primarily due to a decrease in taxes.

Restricted Grants and Accounts Fund

At the end of fiscal year 2015, the Restricted Grants and Accounts Fund had a fund balance of $84.8 million, all of which was restricted for specific purposes, an increase of $39.1 million in comparison with the prior year.

Total revenues were 14.2 percent, or $796.4 million, higher than in fiscal year 2014. Overall, total expenditures were 6.8 percent, or $417.9 million, higher than fiscal year 2014.

Grant and Loan Programs

As of June 30, 2015, the Grant and Loan Programs Fund had a fund balance of $753.0 million, all of which was restricted for specific purposes, an increase of $284.5 million in comparison with the prior year.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS OF THE STATE'S PROPRIETARY FUNDS

Proprietary funds report activities of the State that are similar to for-profit business. Proprietary fund financial statements provide the same type of information as the government-wide financial statements, only in more detail. Accordingly, a discussion of the financial activities of the Proprietary funds is provided in that section.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS OF THE STATE'S FIDUCIARY FUNDS

The State maintains Fiduciary funds for the assets of Pension and Other Employee Benefit Trust funds, an Investment Trust fund, and a Private-Purpose Trust fund. The net positions of the State's Fiduciary funds totaled $30.9 billion, an increase of $544.8 million when compared to the prior year ending net position.

Budget Highlights-General Fund

The revised State budget as adopted for Fiscal Year 2015 was anticipating a small surplus of $0.4 million dollars on gross General Fund appropriations of $17.8 billion. By the end of the fiscal year, a General Fund deficit of $113.2 million had emerged from operations. In accordance with state law, a transfer from the State's Budget Reserve Fund was made to cover this deficit, which decreased the total reserve balance in the fund to $406.0 million.

As Fiscal Year 2015 progressed, it became clear that the General Fund would not reach the budgeted revenue targets. By the end of the fiscal year, revenues were $176.2 million short of the original budget projection. In an attempt to eliminate General Fund deficit projections for Fiscal Year 2015, the Governor implemented three deficit mitigations plans over the course of the fiscal year and implemented other cost cutting initiatives. These measures proved insufficient to completely eliminate a fiscal year-end deficit, but they did substantially lessen that deficit.

The State experienced significant job growth throughout Fiscal Year 2015. However, suppressed wage growth during the fiscal year significantly constrained the growth in major state revenue sources. By the end of Fiscal Year 2015, weekly wages in Connecticut were growing by less than 2 percent. Considering the level of job growth that the State was experiencing, wage growth was expected to approach 5 percent. As a result of the wage drag on overall State economic growth, General Fund revenue in Fiscal Year 2015 grew by just 1.6 percent.

As discussed above, significant expenditures controls were implemented in an attempt to keep the budget in balance. General Fund spending in Fiscal Year 2015 was held to a growth rate of 2.6 percent. In the six fiscal years following the large Fiscal Year 2009 General Fund deficit, spending growth in the General Fund has averaged 2.5 percent per year. This compares to average annual General Fund spending growth of 7.3 percent in the four years leading up to that large deficit.

Twenty-six appropriation line-items in the budget account for 87 percent of General Fund spending. In order to control the growth in General Fund spending during the Fiscal Year 2009 to 2015 period, actual dollar reductions were made over the period in several of these large line-items (comparing spending in Fiscal Year 2009 to spending in Fiscal Year 2015). Some notable reduc tions between those fiscal years included a cut of $155.8 million in higher education operating support, a decline of $148.0 million in state employee payroll expense, and a decrease of $84.8 million in the Department of Children and Families residential board and care program. During that six year period, the largest dollar increases were an additional $516.1 million to fund the State Employees Retirement System, an increase of $498.9 million in Medicaid spending, and $444.8 million more to fund the Teachers' Retirement system. It is important to note that the vast majority of funding to the retirement systems is for individuals that have already retired. These obligations were incurred over many decades, but were not fully funded. These have now become fixed state costs. Pension reforms have substantially lowered pension costs for new hires.

Some of the spending trends listed above were reversed between Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2015. General Fund spending for Medicaid declined $103.7 million during the period as federal Medicaid spending increased by 16.4 percent. The state employee General Fund payroll expense grew by $105.5 million as wage increases that had been eliminated in past years were reinstituted and critical positions were filled. Higher education operations also experienced a $31.5 million increase during Fiscal Year 2015.

Fiscal Year 2015 recorded $13.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 operating activity that fell outside the General Fund. The majority of this activity was in the Special Revenue Funds group. These are funds that have dedicated revenue sources to support their programs. This fund category includes federally supported programs, the operating activities of the universities, and the Transportation Fund. Federal grants grew by 10.6 percent in Fiscal Year 2015 over the prior fiscal year. This equates to $545.8 million in additional federal spending. The largest federal increase was in Medicaid. This caused the special revenue fund group to grow by 9.8 percent to total $11.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015.

The Transportation Fund ended Fiscal Year 2015 with a positive fund balance of $180.1 million. Spending increased by 4.5 percent during Fiscal Year 2015 and totaled $1.3 billion. Since 2009, Transportation Fund spending has grown by an average of 2.7 percent a year.

Capital project spending grew by 12.5 percent between Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2015 to total $1.7 billion. Since 2009, the average annual growth in capital spending has been 6.3 percent. This is consistent with growth in the private sector use of debt financing as companies took advantage of historically low interest rates.

Within the Required Supplemental Information Section of this report, there is a reconciliation of Fiscal Year 2015 General Fund operations for the accrual budgetary basis of accounting and the accounting basis used within the fund financial statements in this report. In Fiscal Year 2014, a new budgetary accrual approach was developed with the intention of eliminating the growth in the annual General Fund negative unassigned fund balance contained in this report.

CAPITAL ASSETS AND DEBT ADMINISTRATION

Capital Assets

The State's investment in capital assets for its governmental and business-type activities as of June 30, 2015 totaled $17.2 billion (net of accumulated depreciation). This investment in capital assets includes land, buildings, improvements other than buildings, equipment, infrastructure, and construction in progress. The net decrease in the State's investment in capital assets for the fiscal year was $539.5 million.

Major capital asset events for governmental activities during the fiscal year include additions to buildings and land of $292 million and depreciation expense of $917.6 million.

The following table is a two-year comparison of the investment in capital assets presented for both governmental and business-type activities:

State of Connecticut's Capital Assets
(Net of Depreciation, in Millions)

Governmental Business-Type Total
Activities Activities Primary Government
2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014
Land $1,709 $1,687 $68 $68 $1,777 $1,755
Buildings 2,505 2,234 2,868 2,706 5,373 4,940
Improvements Other Than Buildings 156 158 166 171 322 329
Equipment 62 72 332 325 394 397
Infrastructure 4,934 4,924 - - 4,934 4,924
Construction in Progress 3,665 3,465 717 511 4,382 3,976
Total $13,031 $12,540 $4,151 $3,781 $17,182 $16,321


Additional information on the State's capital assets can be found in Note 9 of this report.

Long-Term Debt - Bonded Debt

At the end of the current fiscal year, the State had total debt outstanding of $23.9 billion. Pursuant to various public and special acts, the State has authorized the issuance of the following types of debt: general obligation debt (payable from the General Fund), special tax obligation debt (payable from the Debt Service Fund), and revenue debt (payable from specific revenues of the Enterprise funds).

The following table is a two-year comparison of bonded debt presented for both governmental and business-type activities:

State of Connecticut's Bonded Debt (in millions)
General Obligation and Revenue Bonds

Governmental  Activities  Business-Type   Activities  Total  Primary Government
2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014
General Obligation Bonds $16,403 $15,282 $- $- $16,403 $15,282
Transportation Related bonds  4,090 3,771 - - 4,090 3,771
Revenue Bonds - - 1,357 1,213 1,357 1,213
Long-Term Notes 520 581 - - 520 581
Premiums and Deferred Amounts 1,417 1,195 111 84 1,528 1,279
Total $22,430 $20,829 $1,468 $1,297 $23,898 $22,126

The State's total bonded debt increased by $1.8 million (8.0 percent) during the current fiscal year. This increase resulted mainly from an increase in general obligation bonds of $1.1 million.

Section 3-21 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that the total amount of bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness payable from General Fund tax receipts authorized by the General Assembly but have not been issued and the total amount of such indebtedness which has been issued and remains outstanding shall not exceed 1.6 times the total estimated General Fund tax receipts of the State for the current fiscal year. In computing the indebtedness at any time, revenue anticipation notes, refunded indebtedness, bond anticipation notes, tax increment financing, budget deficit bonding, revenue bonding, balances in debt retirement funds and other indebtedness pursuant to certain provisions of the General Statutes shall be excluded from the calculation. As of July 2015, the State had a debt incurring margin of $3.6 billion.

Other Long-Term Debt
State of Connecticut Other Long - Term Debt (in Millions)

Governmental
Activities
Business-Type
Activities
Total
Primary Government
 

2015 2014* 2015 2014 2015 2014*
Net Pension Liability $26,171 $27,773 $-

$- $26,171 $27,773
Net OPEB Obligation 8,983 7,763 - - 8,983 7,763
Compensated Absences 499 513 186 167 685 680
Workers Compensation 651 620 - - 651 620
Federal Loan Payable - - 103 434 103 434
Other 150 129 351 302 501 431
Total $36,454 $36,798 $640 $903 $37,094 $37,701

*Restated for comparative purposes

The State's other long-term obligations decreased by $607 million (1.6 percent) during the fiscal year. This decrease was due mainly to a decrease in the net pension liability (Governmental activities) of $1.6 million or 5.8 percent. Additional information on the State's long-term debt can be found in Notes 16 and 17 of this report.

Economic Outlook and Next Year's Budget

At this writing, Connecticut has recovered all of its private sector recessionary job losses and is continuing to add private sector employment. The State needs to reach the 1,713,000 job level to enter a full nonfarm employment expansionary phase. This will require an additional 13,300 nonfarm jobs. Connecticut's nonfarm jobs recovery is 69 months old and is averaging 1,532 new jobs per month since February 2010.

Connecticut has been growing jobs at fairly typical recovery rate; however workers' wage growth has been below normal recovery levels. There are some early signs that wage increases may be accelerating slightly. Wages increased by less than 2 percent in Fiscal Year 2015. Current trends point to Connecticut wage growth of better than 3 percent. Wage Growth in the United States averaged 6.3 percent from 1960 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 13.8 percent in January of 1979 and a record low of -5.77 percent in March of 2009. Historically, Connecticut wages have increased at a faster pace than the national average.

Connecticut, like most other states, has a revenue structure that is dependent on rising wages and the related increases in consumer spending. As wages have been slow to recover, Connecticut's revenue base has experienced lower than expected growth. As job expansion continues in the State and as wage acceleration takes hold, Connecticut's recent budget pressures will abate. Exactly when solid wage gains will emerge is as uncertain as it is vital to the State's budgetary health.

Looking forward it is also important to note that Connecticut's economy is dependent on the national economy, which is dependent on world events. Global economic activity has constrained domestic growth. China's economy (2nd largest in the world) has been slowing. In response, its central bank cut interest rates in hopes of boosting growth. Less oil demand from China as the economy slowed has produced a sharp drop in oil prices as well as coal and other commodities. These falling prices have negatively impacted the stock market.

The cheaper oil has damaged oil exporting economies such as Brazil and Russia, in addition to many Middle Eastern producers. The European economy has struggled to grow at all, advancing at an annual pace of less than 2 percent.

All of these economic trends will impact future Connecticut budgets. The Governor is required to submit a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2017 in February 2016. Currently, the Fiscal Year 2016 budget is facing the same slow growth in revenue that was experienced in Fiscal Year 2015. Cost controls are in place to avoid ending Fiscal Year 2016 with a budget deficit.

CONTACTING THE STATE'S OFFICES OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

This financial report is designed to provide our citizens, taxpayers, customers, investors, and creditors with a general overview of the State's finances and to demonstrate the State's accountability for the money it receives. If you have any questions about this report, please contact the State Comptroller's Office at 1-860-702-3350.