State Economy Largely Unchanged In August, Brown Says

 “California experienced a slight uptick in the unemployment rate in July, ending 23 consecutive months of decline. However, the number of jobs continued to rise and the real estate market continued to improve.”

So begins the September 2013 Finance Bulletin of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Department of Finance, which covers July economic activity and August revenue collections.

California’s unemployment rate increased to 8.7 percent in July – up from 8.5 percent in June.

“The year-over-year drop of 1.9 percentage points is still one of the larger decreases on record,” the Department of Finance notes.

Not one of the state’s major revenue months, August posted tax receipts $19 million above the $6.3 billion expected.images-3

Since the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1, revenue has lagged projections by $256 million, the equivalent of a rounding error in a budget of $145 billion.

The median price of a home sold in July was $433,760, an increase of $96,700 from January 2013, the bulletin says. That’s 27 percent below the pre-recession peak.

But 15.4 percent of California homeowners still had mortgages higher than their home’s market value, according to an economic forecast presented by Wells Fargo Securities on September 13.

In Nevada, 36.4 percent of homeowners are in the same situation as are nearly 25 percent of Arizona homeowners.

California’s coastal areas have a lower percentage of negative equity homes than the Central Valley. More than 27 percent of the homes in Stockton, Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield are underwater.

For comparison, here’s the August Finance Bulletin.



Filed under: Budget and Economy

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