July 8, 2014

Colorado's Economic Forecast is ... TBD?

What's up with the official Colorado Economic Forecast- State Revenue and Economic Quarterly Forecasts posted on the Colorado.gov website? The reports for the two most recent quarterly reporting periods are AWOL. (Has KDVR 31 noticed yet?) If you click through you can see that the reports from March 2007 until December 2013 are linked to a Colorado.gov page but the March 2014 report is an empty Dropbox page and the June 2014 report is - wait for it - a Google Docs survey by "The Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB)" that "is seeking feedback on its quarterly economic and revenue forecast."

Excuse me, shouldn't you actually be providing a quarterly economic forecast instead of asking us what we want it for? [Click continue reading for the text of the survey]

Okay, I'll tell you why I was looking for the official economic forecast of the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting. I had just read about this Denver Business Journal survey where 56% of respondents said that state regulations hurt their business "a little" or "a lot."

And I had just reviewed this United States Small Business Friendliness Survey that grades Colorado's regulatory environment a B-minus, worsened from B in 2013. (And the scale only includes grades of A through C.)

And so, I wondered, as his re-election campaign approaches, what is the governor's opinion of Colorado's economic condition - past, present or future? The last time his OSPB published an opinion was in December of last year, when it summarized:

"As with the nation, however, economic progress across the state is uneven. Further, the economy is always vulnerable to adverse, often unexpected, events that could strain budget conditions."

I presume this is the best possible light that state economists are able to cast. That would seem consistent with the compilation of Colorado's other economic grades from the Small Business Friendliness Survey:

Ease of starting a business: A-minus, up from B-plus

Ease of hiring: A, up from A-minus

Regulations: B-minus, down from B

Health and safety: B-plus, up from C

Employment, labor and hiring: C, down from B

Tax code: C-plus, down from B-plus

Licensing: A-minus, up from B-plus

Environmental: B-minus, up from C-plus

Zoning: C, down from B-minus

Training and networking programs: A-minus, down from A

In summary five improvements and five declines, but there are some very ugly grades in there including C's (the lowest grade) in Employment, Tax Code and Zoning. Certainly not to what a state with "one of the nation's most educated, technically saavy workforces" might aspire. While we might expect to lead the nation in economic growth and development, under the administration and policies of the current governor Colorado looks more like a slow-moving state, making the governor's new state logo take on a whole new significance.


Forecast Survey_June 2014
The Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) is seeking feedback on its quarterly economic and revenue forecast. Please take a minute and respond to our survey. The forecast can be accessed when clicking submit.

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Please check all that apply.
General Fund Information
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If you have used or read previous OSPB forecast publications, on a scale from 1 to 10, how useful and informative would you rate the publication?

A 10 indicates extremely useful and a 1 indicates not very useful.

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OSPB may conduct an additional short survey as we continually improve the forecast publication. If you would be willing to participate in a short survey about the forecast at a later date, please provide your email address.

If you have any feedback regarding OSPB's economic forecast documents, please comment here:

CO Governor Colorado Economics and Markets Posted by JohnGalt at July 8, 2014 3:12 PM
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