The Good News
Pg 4 - The Sunshine Express
Job growth soars as revenue forecast improves
by $307.5 million for FY 2012-13
DENVER: The state¡¯s employment level has
returned to its pre-Great Recession amount of 2.4
million jobs and Colorado has seen the fourth-fast-
est job growth in the country since the end of the
recession, the Governor¡¯s Office of State Planning
and Budgeting (OSPB) announced on June 20.
The announcement came at the same time OSPB
told the General Assembly¡¯s Joint Budget commit-
tee that state General Fund revenue is projected
to be $307.5 million higher in the current fiscal
year than was forecast in March. For FY 2013-14,
the forecast is $213.2 million higher than the prior
The increase in the revenue forecast is due to col-
lections in FY 2012-13 from a larger-than-expected
amount of estimated individual income tax pay-
ments received in April. The economy continues
to add jobs in several industry sectors such as
professional and technical services, construction,
leisure and hospitality, retail trade, health care and
finance. Furthermore, OSPB expects nearly 31,000
housing permits to be issued in 2013, a 31.5
reports that growth may slow next year.
¡°As expected in the previous forecast, the na-
tional economy has shown signs of softening,
continuing a pattern of uneven growth since the
end of the Great Recession. However, Colorado
has maintained its economic momentum, mak-
ing it among the best performing economies
in the nation,¡± according to the forecast. ¡°The
state¡¯s economic performance can be attributed
to a high level of human capital and solid growth
in most of its major industries. This momentum
could cause revenue to outperform expectations.
Colorado¡¯s economy, and thus tax revenue, can
still be adversely affected by several outside fac-
tors, including a potential further slowing in the
national economy. The economy also continues to
be vulnerable to the recession in Europe and the
potential for adverse consequences from federal
fiscal and monetary policies.¡±
percent growth rate from 2012.
This continued job and income growth will
support more economic activity to generate
tax and fee revenue for public services.
The total General Fund surplus this fiscal year,
or the amount of money above the required
reserve amount, is projected at $1.1 billion,
which will go to the State Education Fund.
Under current law, $30 million in excess funds
in the new revenue forecast will be transferred
to the Colorado Water Conservation Board
Fund. Seventy-five percent of the remainder,
$113.6 million, will be transferred to the State
Education Fund, which supports per-pupil
funding in Colorado school districts.
The Governor¡¯s Office will work with the Joint
Budget Committee and the rest of the General
Assembly to identify prudent increases to the
existing budget request for next year. OSPB
Exports Up 72.7% Since 2009
Jobs & Housing Permits Climb
export trends for Colorado¡¯s core commodities pro-
vided insights into the marketing challenges facing
-US exports of beef products were up 4.3 percent;
-Colorado¡¯s beef exports, the state¡¯s largest export
commodity, decreased 3.9 percent.
-Colorado also saw exports of dairy products drop
as anticipated with the new cheese production
facility in northeast Colorado consuming milk that
was previously processed for export.
-Colorado¡¯s hide exports increased 22.3 percent
versus the US increase of 15.6 percent.
-The drought reduced Colorado millet exports by
$5 million in 2013, but anticipated increased plant-
ing should provide adequate stock for a rebound in
exports with the 2013 harvest.
Colorado¡¯s agricultural exports decreased $9.4
million to $337.4 million in the first quarter of 2013
versus 2012 first quarter exports. Two key markets
created significant changes to Colorado¡¯s export
totals. Mexico, the state¡¯s third largest beef export
market, decreased purchases of beef throughout
the US; Colorado¡¯s beef exports to Mexico were
down more than $19 million. Colorado and nation-
al beef exporters also lost sales to Russia with the
closure of this important market.
While the Mexican market shrank and the Rus-
sian market closed, Colorado beef exports grew in
other key markets. Beef exports to Canada were
up 26 percent, an increase of $12.3 million, Korea
increased 28 percent to over $28 million, Hong
Kong grew 196 percent to $17 million, and Taiwan
increased 128 percent to $8.2 million.
¡°Increasing exports and creating a wide range of
global markets for Colorado beef is critical for the
long term viability of our beef industry. Increased
access to the Japanese market became effective in
February, so we anticipate more exports to Japan
this year,¡± said CO Commissioner of Ag, John
Salazar. ¡°Furthermore, it does not end with access.
As we enter the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)
free trade agreement negotiations, agriculture must
remain diligent in making sure agricultural issues
are a key element of these trade agreements.¡±
Since 2009, Colorado¡¯s agricultural exports have
increased by 72.7 percent; however, in the first
quarter of 2013, there was a slight decrease of 2.7
percent from the prior year while total US agricul
tural exports were up 6.1 percent. A review of