Forecasters project little change in budget numbers

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State economists nudged state revenue projections slightly upward for the current budget year but slightly downward for the coming budget year — essentially leaving the estimated shortfall faced by the Legislature at around $2 billion, reports the News Service of Florida. Amy Baker, coordinator of the Office of Economic & Demographic Research, said forecasters added roughly $48 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year but sliced $25.7 million off the estimate for 2012-13. Those numbers could change slightly when the final figures are released around 4 p.m., she said. “You don’t hardly get any closer to the current estimate than that,” Baker said. She added that there were some downside risks for the economy related to personal income in Florida and a potential crisis in the euro zone, but that the current estimates were more likely to hold true. Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, has raised the possibility of holding off on crafting a final budget and asking economists to meet again in a couple of months — something Baker said they would be willing to do but suggested wasn’t necessary. “At this point, I wouldn’t know of a reason to say, ‘Well, check back with us in a few months,'” she said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.