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Economy Slowly Improving

Sales tax receipts climb in Q4 2011

by Brian Leubitz

The Board of Equalization has access to a veritable smorgasboard of data that any geek would salivate over. Unfortunately you normally have to do a bunch of digging to find the stuff that might be of interest outside your traditional nerd circles.  However, the following two sentences might interest a few folks:

The Board of Equalization on Friday estimated that taxable sales in California rose 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 from the same period of 2010.

The estimate was based on early calculations of cash receipts. It provides fresh evidence that the state's economy is strengthening.(SacBee)

Also of note, the 2010 Q4 sales tax data was up from 2009 about 7%.  While these numbers are good, 2007-2009 were so bad that we can't paint over them in a few good quarters. That being said, the economy is on the right track.  There will be no next big bubble to put us back in the boom times, but we're coming back. And perhaps slow and steady isn't really so bad.

But, I think I might know a few folks at OFA and the Governor's office who are wishing for those numbers to creep up a little faster. These improvements don't break us out of the woods for the budget, but perhaps voters might be a smidge more likely to vote YES on revenue in November if the economy has shown positive growth for a few quarters.


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