Seal of the  State of Connecticut, Office of the State Comptroller

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER

OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775

MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER


WYMAN SAYS SURPLUS GROWS, DESPITE SLOWING ECONOMY
Capital Gains Payments By Investors Higher Than Expected
Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308/3301
Steven.Jensen@po.state.ct.us

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected the state will end the 2008 fiscal year with a budget surplus of $281.2 million - an increase of more than $130 million since last month.

While economic growth remains weak, the jump in Wyman's estimate is due to higher-than-expected collections of estimated income tax payments for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. Those payments are attributed mainly to interest earnings and capital gains made by investors in the financial markets, Wyman said.

"Both state and national economic indicators still point to a slowing economy at risk for further contraction," Wyman said. "Consumer spending and corporate profits are in decline and inflation is rising at its fastest pace in the past two years."

Wyman's estimate is $18 million higher than that of the Governor's budget office, due to the Comptroller's more optimistic estimate of how much the income tax will produce by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

In the first six months of fiscal 2008, the state added 2,800 payroll jobs - less than half the jobs that were created at the same point last year. The state's unemployment rate has climbed to 5 percent, its highest level since May of 2005.

Advance retail sales for December were up 4.2 percent from last year, but well off the 6 percent growth rate experienced a year earlier. Corporate profits fell in the 3rd quarter, and are expected to decline in the 4th quarter.

Existing home sales in Connecticut have been weak, falling by 6 percent in the 3rd quarter, while home sales nationally fell to their lowest level in more than a decade.

The State Comptroller appreciates input on this and other issues from residents of the state. Please feel free to contact her office by phone - (860) 702-3300; mail - OSC, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106; or, via E-mail - osc.opinions@po.state.ct.us

Learn more about the Connecticut Comptroller's Office by calling up our Internet Home Page, at the link below.

For Immediate Release
February 1, 2008

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