Regional Economic Forecasts

The Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts maintains a quarterly econometric model to produce regular regional economic forecasts, which serve as the starting point to develop revenue forecasts. This regional economic model is based on previous work by Dick Conway and Doug Pedersen at Conway Pedersen Economics, Inc. who published the regional and county level economic forecasts in The Puget Sound Economic Forecaster (PSEF) until June 2017. When they retired, they made their model available to other institutions, to be further developed and extended. The Office of Economic and Financial Analysis (OEFA) at King County, the Seattle Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts (OERF), and The Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) at Western Washington University thus independently continue producing forecasts for the region: OEFA for King County; OERF for King and Snohomish Counties; CEBR for King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

Consistent with the direction provided in the legislation that created the Forecast Office, each of the quarterly forecasts includes three scenarios - a pessimistic scenario, a baseline scenario, and an optimistic scenario.  The final recommendation of the Forecast Office Director regarding the economic forecast will include her/his suggestion about which of these three forecasts is most appropriate to use in the forecasts of actual City revenues, as described further below.

Revenue Forecasts

The Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts produces three revenue forecasts per year, in April, August, and November.  These forecasts use the outputs of the regional model described above as an input to the specific forecasts of City revenues.  The revenue forecasts use econometric modeling and historical data to project how anticipated changes in local economic conditions will affect future City revenues.  The three economic forecast scenarios - pessimistic, baseline and optimistic - are each used to generate three separate forecast of the City's economically dependent revenues.  The final recommendation of the Forecast Office will rely upon one of these three scenarios, and the Forecast Council will be provided an explanation for this specific recommendation.  

The first forecast prepared by the new Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts will be available in April of 2022.  The forecasts used in the City's annual budget process were previously prepared by the City Budget Office.

Copies of the current and previous forecasts prepared by the Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts the can be found on the "Reports" page of this site.