Last June, Washington’s chief revenue forecaster delivered the bad news to state lawmakers and state officials.
“The longest economic expansion in U.S. history is, unfortunately, over. We are now in a recession,” Steve Lerch told the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.
At the time, Lerch projected the state would lose nearly $9 billion in revenues over four years. But he also emphasized there was a lot of uncertainty in the forecast.
Sure enough, the September and November forecasts weren’t nearly as bleak. Taken together they reduced the almost $9 billion drop to a projected $3.3 billion reduction.
Then came Wednesday's March revenue forecast. It showed the state returning to pre-pandemic revenue levels.