Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that North Carolina's revenue collections were strong in December, exceeding budget projections by $60 million and bringing the overall amount collected above forecasts for the first half of the fiscal year to $150 million.
"Creating jobs is my top priority," Gov. Perdue said. "We still have a long way to go, but these figures suggest that the top-rated business climate and educated, trained workforce we have built over the years is helping our recovery gain traction."
* Businesses did particularly well in December, with corporate and franchise collections reaching 14.5 percent above budget that month and ending on target for the first half of the year.
* Individual income tax collections finished December 2 percent above budget expectations and remain above forecast for the first half of the fiscal year.
* Sales collections reflected the modest success of retailers this season, ending 3.8 percent above budget projections in December but slightly below budget for the first half of the year.
State economists report that the recent economic data remains upbeat. A stronger business confidence, stronger consumer spending and stronger housing starts suggest the economy gained momentum as 2011 closed. Challenges still exist, however, as consumers still face high debt levels, home prices are still falling and the financial situation in Europe remains worrisome. In addition, the most volatile revenue sources are collected during the second half of the year.
The combination of a first half with collections modestly above forecast, combined with recent upbeat economic news has improved the overall revenue outlook for the second half of the fiscal year.