A forecast of Colorado’s state government revenue published Wednesday projects growth to be better than initially thought, but warns that heightened trade conflicts could threaten the state’s continued revenue growth.
The Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) cited the state’s employment and wage growth as factors that encourage consumer spending. Despite the strong growth of the past fiscal year, it is expected to moderate in the coming years, the forecast said.
The forecast projects more growth for the state’s General Fund over the next couple years, with an estimated 7.1 percent growth in Fiscal Year 2019 and 4.7 percent in 2020.
The General Fund revenue forecast was adjusted since the March forecast to account for the growth, seeing a 2.2 percent increase totaling $270.7 million in fiscal 2019, and a .9 percent increase of $114.4 million for 2020.
Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement that while the economy is strong, the federal government's trade wars and the threat of tariffs could blunt Colorado’s continued growth by hurting key industries in the state.
“Colorado has one of the strongest economies in the country and we want every Coloradan to share in that success. By saving families money on education and health care, investing in priority areas and growing our reserves, we can set our state up for long-term prosperity and ensure that our economy works for all Coloradans,” Polis said. “Even though this forecast shows strong growth in revenue, Washington’s misguided tariffs and trade wars could negatively impact key Colorado industries like agriculture and manufacturing. We must continue to stand against policies that threaten our state's economic growth.”
Colorado’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 3.5 percent in 2018, with most growth coming in the professional, technical, and information services job sectors.
Employers in the state added 9,500 jobs from March to April, up from 6,000 jobs in February to March, and 700 jobs from January to February.