Fun Facts from the Consensus Revenue Crowd


Last week’s release of the “consensus revenue estimate” by the state’s financial officials included several documents with some very revealing information about where New Mexico finds itself eight months into 2016. Here are some stats worth noting:

* As the above chart indicates, fiscal 2016 revenue for the general fund was down 8.4 percent, and fiscal 2017 is predicted to experience only 0.6 percent growth.

* Weak employment bears much of the blame for poor revenue-creation. Total jobs grew by just 1.2 percent in 2016, with increases in employment in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces offset by “losses in the rest of the state.”

* Since 2006, there has been essentially no job growth in the finance/insurance sector, nor in the retail industry. Construction work is down 20 percent, and manufacturing has dropped by 25 percent. The mining-and-logging sector, which includes oil and gas, “peaked in November and December of 2014 with 29,000 jobs,” but current employment is 18,800, representing the loss “of more than 10,000 mostly high‐wage jobs.”

* Personal income fell by 1.7 percent in fiscal 2016. The average hourly wage rose by just 11 cents.

* According to Moody’s, gross state product declined by 1.1 percent. BBER claims the loss was 0.6 percent.

* Risks to New Mexico’s economy include a national recession and further declines in oil-and-gas prices. A big budget threat is the type of entity that may be hired to run Sandia National Laboratories. If Lockheed loses its contract to a nonprofit organization, “up to a $100 million annual loss in state revenues” could occur.

It’s all pretty frightening stuff. The good news is that there’s no time like the present for elected officials to realize that New Mexico faces an economic and fiscal apocalypse — and finally take concrete steps to build a vibrant, sustainable private sector in the Land of Enchantment.

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