Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting Releases Economic Forecast
DENVER – The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) released its quarterly economic forecast today.
“This is surprisingly good and welcome economic news for Colorado, given that the entire world is in the grip of a deadly virus and the United States is experiencing an all-time high in hospitalizations and deaths. But this positive data must not detract from the real-life struggles that many small businesses and families are still facing here in Colorado. Here in Colorado, we have worked to save lives while protecting livelihoods and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the arrival of the vaccine in our state. It will take time to vaccinate enough Coloradans to end this crisis, and the state will face more challenges and loss before we see improvements. That’s why in partnership with the legislature we took action to provide state-level small business, childcare, and renter assistance and we hope Washington takes action immediately. Coloradans are resilient, compassionate and I have full faith that we will build back stronger.said Governor Polis.
The forecast shows that despite improvement over the Fall, Colorado’s economic activity remains below pre-COVID levels. The outlook for the winter months has weakened as higher COVID caseloads have resulted in more public health restrictions on businesses, while winter weather limits outdoor dining. Though weekly initial unemployment claims remain far below the levels of March and April, they have more than tripled since September and are expected to remain elevated through the winter months. Despite this, the outlook for 2021 has improved due to high savings and wealth and the distribution of the vaccine.
The U.S. economy has performed better than expected over the last quarter as economic conditions continue to improve from the lows observed in the spring. While aggregate household savings and wealth have increased since the pandemic began, the recession is having a highly disparate impact across industries, with job losses and business closures concentrated in predominantly low-wage industries. The availability and distribution of a vaccine improves the economic outlook for 2021.