California businesses added 32,300 jobs in February. And January's figures were revised down by about 30,000 jobs (from 107k to 68k). These two updates suggest job gains so far this year have remained strong, albeit slower than hinted at in last month's figures (prior to the downward revision).
Based on the most recent revenue and economic data, we currently estimate that collections from the state’s “big three” taxes—personal income, sales, and corporation taxes—are likely to fall below the Governor's Budget assumption of $200 billion in 2022-23.
U.S. retail sales have grown 2 percent over the last 3 months and 5.4 percent over the last 12 months.
Annual inflation is below the 2022 peak, but short-term rates of inflation have ticked up in recent months.
We look at recent program statistics and research on California Competes.
February PIT withholding came in $400 million (6 percent) below projections included in the recently released Governor's Budget. Combined January and February withholding is $1.7 billion (11 percent) below the administration's projections. For the fiscal year so far, withholding is running 5.9 percent lower than last year, with most of the weakness coming in November and December of last year.
Revenue from the cannabis retail excise tax has declined for six straight quarters.
U.S. retail sales have grown 6.4 percent over the last 12 months, but have been flat after accounting for inflation.
Based on the most recent economic data, we now estimate that annual inflation will drop to about 4 percent by the second quarter of 2023.
U.S. retail sales (seasonally adjusted) declined 1.1 percent from November to December. The two-month decline was 2.1 percent. In the last 30 years, two-month drops of at least 2 percent have happened around recessions.
U.S. retail sales (seasonally adjusted) declined 0.6 percent from October to November.
Based on the preliminary results, the state will receive an estimated $961 million in revenue from the most recent quarterly cap-and-trade auction held on November 16, 2022.
Despite worrying signs in some parts of the economy, the labor market remains steady. Seasonally adjusted weekly UI claims held steady over the last several months at between 40,000 and 50,000 claims per week. This level is in-line with UI claims seen during periods of sustained economic growth.
Cannabis tax revenues have declined for five straight quarters. One part of last quarter’s revenue decline is the lost revenue from the recently eliminated cultivation tax. Despite this policy change, revenues from the retail excise tax declined faster than ever before, indicating that other factors continue to drive down revenues.
Although October colletions from the state's “big three” tax revenues—personal income, corporation, and sales taxes—came in far ahead of Budget Act assumptions, this is not indicative of better than expected revenue performance for 2022-23 overall. Instead, a closer look at the data shows that the recent trend of revenue weakness continued in October.