Council on Revenues Forecast Revised Downward
By Wendy Osher
The state Council on Revenues yesterday downgraded its revenue forecast for Hawaiʻi to flat growth in 2014.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that translates to $180 million less than previous projections for fiscal year 2014 and $100 million less than the previous forecast for fiscal year 2015.
Justin Fujioka, press secretary for the governor said the revised forecast calls for the following growth projections through fiscal year 2020: 0% growth in FY2014; 5.5% growth in FY2015; 5% growth in FY2016; 5.8% growth in FY2017; 6.2% growth in FY2018; 5.4% growth in FY2019; and 5.4% growth in FY2020.
State Finance Director Kalbert Young said the adjusted forecast signals that revenue growth for the state may have peaked, at least for the short term.
“We continue prudent fiscal management of state finances and resources, ensuring government expenditures are in line relative to the revenue forecast,” said Young in a press release from the governor’s office.
Young said his approach as finance director is to manage the budget and financial condition across multiple fiscal years. “As in the past, the state’s financial management team is prepared to exert measured controls of the state’s budget to ensure that programs are sustainable through any economic cycle,” he said.
Governor Neil Abercrombie responded to the news saying the administration’s budget and six-year financial plan were developed with the anticipation of likely revenue fluctuations.
“The result is both the budget and the six-year plan are solid and sound,” he said.
“The administration looks forward to working together with the Legislature to continue to build reserves and fund necessary public services and key initiatives, while ensuring our long-term fiscal stability,” said Abercrombie.