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Colorado Governor's Office Predicts Possible Recession, $300M Drop in Revenue

Denver

As schools and businesses close and Coloradans stay home, this pandemic could trigger a recession, according to a new economic forecast.

The Office of State Planning and Budgeting released its March economic forecast this week, which shows the major impact COVID-19 is expected to have on the state’s economy.

Colorado Governor's Office Predicts Possible Recession, $300M Drop in Revenue

The forecast presentation reflects changing expectations for the Colorado economy over the coming three fiscal years. For the remainder of fiscal year 2019-2020, Colorado state revenue is expected to do considerably worse, bringing in $300M less than expectations that were set out in a December forecast.

This negative impact will be felt over the coming years as the forecast showed a revision of negative $400M for fiscal year 2020-2021. 

In a statement, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said that the economic situation is in “complete flux.”

“Until we have a much better idea what’s going on, I wouldn’t put much stock in any economic forecast, although we know the news isn’t good,” Polis said. 

Because of the downward revenue revision, the Office of State Planning and Budgeting said in the forecast that there will be a smaller future budget for 2021. The forecast also said that consumer expectations are declining, corporate bond risk is increasing and Treasury yields are declining. 

It also said that the odds of a recession are increasing. Based on prior recession data from 2001 and 2008, this will likely lead to a shortfall of 30% in the general fund. 

Colorado has a general fund reserve with $900M currently in it, per the report. However, it also said that the prior two recessions, in 2001 and 2008, exceeded $3B in shortfalls over four years. 

It is important to note that this forecast is based on available data. As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop and impact the economy, these estimated numbers are subject to change.