Several pieces of encouraging economic news were released this week, as the Governor announced that healthy General Fund revenue collections continued in February and that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4 percent.
Total General Fund revenue collections increased by 3.6 percent in February over the previous year. For the fiscal year-to-date, revenue collections increased 4.5 percent through February, running ahead of the forecast of 2.9 percent growth. Although February is not a significant month for revenue collections, this positive performance follows a similarly positive report in January, which is a significant month for revenue collection. Through February, individual income tax collections (representing 70 percent of General Fund revenues) increased by 5.1 percent over the same period last year; both withholding and nonwithholding collections are ahead of projections. Sales tax collections grew in February, but on a year-to-date basis, the 1.4 percent increase in collections has lagged the forecasted growth of 2.7 percent. This area should be monitored carefully due to its possible implications for school funding.
The decrease in Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 4 percent is an improvement over the previous six months, when the rate was 4.1 percent. Virginia’s unemployment rate continues to best the national rate of 4.7 percent, which was announced on Friday.
The February revenue letter from Secretary Brown is available here.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle