STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
|WYMAN PROJECTS $75 MILLION BUDGET DEFICIT|
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today said the state should close its books for the 2003 fiscal year with a deficit of $75 million.
Wyman's estimate represents a $50 million improvement in the deficit since last month, due to higher than expected savings in state spending as the fiscal year drew to a close. General Fund spending increased by about three percent overall in fiscal 2003.
"The relatively modest growth in spending is due to cutbacks in state programs, cancellation of some spending plans and personnel savings from layoffs and early retirements," Wyman said. "I am hopeful that state government will continue to find ways to tighten its belt."
The 2003 fiscal year ended June 30, but some revenues continue to be counted through August. Wyman will officially close the state's books and issue her final deficit figure on Sept. 1.
Wyman said the state economy is showing some positive signs, especially in the housing market and consumer spending, but is still losing jobs. The state lost nearly 20,000 jobs in fiscal 2003, including 3,900 jobs in June alone.
Businesses appear very cautious about adding staff in a lethargic economy, Wyman said, both in Connecticut and nationally. Low interest rates appear to have increased businesses' investments in capital, such as technology improvements, rather than in hiring more workers.
Wyman noted, however, that many companies have also recently increased estimates for 3rd and 4th quarter sales.
"That is an encouraging signal because a recovery in the corporate sector is the most important factor to a full-scale economic recovery for the state," she said.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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