LOS ANGELES — California’s Department of Finance reported that March revenues came in $170 million below the $7.6 billion projected in the governor’s budget, but that the state remains ahead of forecasts year-to-date.
Year-to-date revenue is $287 million above the $78.1 billion forecast, according to the Department of Finance’s monthly report.
A few weeks ago, the State Controller’s Office reported revenues for March had beat the $7.6 billion projections by $218.6 million.
The controller’s year-to-date figures also had revenues beating projections by $2.26 billion.
“It’s not an apples to apples comparison,” DOF spokesman H.D. Palmer said of the difference between the numbers.
The controller’s number is a combination of cash receipts plus available borrowable resources like special funds, DOF just uses general fund revenues, Palmer said. In addition, there is a timing issue between when the controller records numbers and when the DOF records what it calls agency cash. A lag of couple of days can affect the numbers, he said.
Personal income tax revenues for the month were $315 million below the month’s forecast of $3.6 billion, according to the Finance Department. Refunds issued in March were $389 million above the forecasted $2.5 billion, offsetting February’s lower refunds.
The state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in March, its’ lowest level since July 2007. The gap between the U.S. and California unemployment rates is also the narrowest since January 2007. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5% in March.
In 2015, personal income for the state grew by 6.3% versus 4.4% for the national, due mainly to faster growth in wages.
The statewide median price of single-family homes sold in February reached $446,460, which is 3.8% higher than median for the same month a year ago. Sales of existing homes totaled 393,360 units at a seasonally adjusted annualized rat ein February, an increase from both the previous month and year by 2.6% and 6.4%, respectively.