STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
|COMPTROLLER SAYS STATE WILL END YEAR WITH $150 MILLION SURPLUS|
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected the state will end the 2008 fiscal year with a budget surplus of $150 million.
Wyman's estimate has increased by about $50 million over the last month, mainly driven by an increase in wages and a corresponding growth in collections of the income tax.
"The economy continues to send mixed signals, but I expect to see modest growth overall for the rest of the fiscal year," Wyman said.
Through October, average hourly earnings in Connecticut grew by 3.6 percent - slightly higher than the national average of just below 3 percent. Average weekly hours of employment also increased over last year.
Connecticut lost 700 jobs in October, mostly in manufacturing, ending four straight months of growth. Since October 2006 the state has gained 20,000 jobs overall - an increase of 1.2 percent.
Consumer confidence is at its lowest in two years, however, and consumer spending remains a concern as the holiday retail season begins. Although advance retail sales were up by 5.2 percent in October, preliminary results for holiday sales were not positive.
While showing modest growth on a year-to-date basis, corporate profits are well off the double-digit growth rates of the past several years. Existing home sales in Connecticut have been weak, falling by almost ten percent in the third quarter, although the state housing market has out-performed the nation as a whole.
Nationally, home foreclosures in October increased 92 percent from a year ago.
"The housing market has placed a significant drag on the economy," Wyman said, "and has the potential to have a serious impact on state and municipal revenues."
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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