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State posts modest revenue growth in November

State revenues grew modestly in November even as signs of economic strains persist.

All told, revenues last month increased by 4.2 percent compared to the year before, state budget analysts reported Dec. 20.

Year-to-date, the state received $177.5 million more than the enacted budget.

But while sales tax collections grew by 1.2 percent in November, individual income tax collections are slightly down for the first time in 15 months.

Budget analysts speculated it might be the result of timing.

November has one less Monday compared to last year, and a good chunk of withholding taxes come in on Mondays, said the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic.

The state’s unemployment rate stood at 8.7 percent last month, which is the first time it fell below 9 percent since February 2009.

Meanwhile, the housing market is still distressed as home prices continue to skid.

But at least foreclosures are down, and while single-family housing permits are expected to decline for the sixth consecutive year, multi-family building permits are up. Vacancy rates in apartments have been declining.

Economists have been saying that while Arizona is out of the recession, it will take a few years before its economy can fully recover.

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