California Consensus Forecast - 4Q21 Data

Mar 29, 2022

HdL presents an up-to-date view on California’s Retail Economy based on current 4th Quarter 2021 data. Watch the recording, download the presentation, and follow along with the transcript and Q&A. 


HdL Companies & Beacon Economics California Forecast Report

Click HERE for our 4Q21 report on statewide sales tax trends and Beacon's national economic drivers. 



Q: Does HdL foresee a reduction in sales tax receipts due to the pause in CPI on the Gas Tax per the Governor's announcement three months ago and most recently the Gas Tax Rebate? Will this affect SB1/RMRA and HUTA? How will the CDTFA make local agencies whole?

A: For the fuel sector, we're projecting solid growth through third quarter of 22 and then it's due to a combination of factors. It's a projected drop in the WTI crude oil prices, the prices at the pump very closely correlated with the oil barrel prices and then a gradual slowdown in the consumption and demand for fuel. There is the governor's proposal for the $400 rebate I think to potentially continue to stimulate the local economy but I also think that those that have the discretionary income will probably be counting on that stock market as we head into the summer months in terms of continuing spending, hopefully.

So we talked a little bit about the Governor's proposal to suspend the CPI adjustment. We are going to continue see sales tax grow because we're expecting higher gas prices. It won't be a surprise if I say we are expecting $5 a gallon, pretty much statewide average through the summer months all the way likely through Labor Day. So, get ready for it, but is it going to be $6 where it is now? Not likely. Probably sometime next maybe late April early May will expect to see crude oil come back down. We will still expect higher gas prices, which will mean greater sales tax growth. 


Q: Is growth within hotels sales tax close to the same trend of restaurants, or is that locals eating out is really pulling up the increase in Restaurant and Hotel?

A: Yes, the casual dining – sit-down restaurants, fast casual, and the quick service fast food restaurants – have definitely recovered more quickly than the other business types that are within that sector. And specifically with the hotels, that industry itself is recovering, but it's definitely lagging behind the overall growth of restaurants. So, we do have a couple of business types that are within the restaurant/hotel sector, leisure and entertainment, and we have those types of businesses that are also recovering and we had projected toward the end of the calendar year 21 full recovery and those business types as well. There's also restaurants with hotels and those are doing better and growing as well within the that overall 47% growth in the sector.

On that restaurant/hotel front, we still have yet to see the return of foreign travel. And so, I think hotels and whether it be restaurants at hotels that generate the sales tax or for you locally, it's the TOT tax, there is still more likely to come, as they return foreign travel to have per night stays at hotels is a real thing and inflation is a part of that, right? So yeah, there's some positive still to come I think overall in the category. What we've seen to date is mostly the indoor dining.


Q: How are the online sales comparing with in-store sales?

A: We talked about the growth, especially the brick-and-mortar in general consumer goods, 18% really strong growth again in this quarter following last quarter and the quarter before. And now the pool dollars beginning to flatten out. So that gap is going back up right now in terms of brick-and-mortar retail compared to the online sales through the pools. Yes, we've seen online continue to grow, but we've also seen a stronger rebound in from brick-and-mortar sales. So, they’re both experiencing continued growth, but the rebound is really strong for brick-and-mortar. 


Q: Do you think there will be a drop off in vehicle sales due to fleet purchases? Are rental car companies driving this demand? (Having to restore their inventory that they liquidated during Covid.)

A: Yes, I think there is going to be really, really tight inventory on cars and I think overall, our forecast on autos, we're still remaining fairly positive because buyers are likely going to be there. We are car country, California, so no real getting around that that. As prices continue to increase, fairly dramatically, even if the prices hold true, they're still elevated from where they were a year ago. Lower inventory means tighter demand and could even push those prices up a little bit more. But we're still going to see sales tax generated. That's a general statement. 

For your local sales tax, it's going to be highly dependent on your local dealer. How tight are they with corporate to be able to get the inventory needed to sell? Or are they getting kind of beat up and not able to maintain or withhold good inventory to where they're sales tax is going to go down because they're just not making the same volume sales? We think it's going to happen statewide, but at the local level, we've seen it very dependent on how a dealership is with getting inventory. So, it's a consideration most certainly. 


Q: How does electric vehicle purchases play into the overall auto perspective? 

A: We had a great discussion as you can imagine about not just looking at very specific merchants, like Tesla or even other major car manufacturers, there are a slew of new entrants into the market now with new electronic vehicles that are starting to pop up and really show themselves. The inflated gas prices during the summer is most certainly going to have some people shifting around. And so, if people do start transitioning over to available electronic vehicles, it's going to mean new money to the market, right? And they're going to sell their vehicle. And as they sell it to a local dealer, they're going to likely resell it because overall, demand is going to be tight for availability. So, we are anticipating the auto market right now to terrain for at least fairly steady because of all these different components.


Q: How do the returns of online purchases get reflected?

A: For most online purchases, especially from out-of-state online retailers, we’ll be looking for those all in the pool, but with the consolidation or with some of the changes reporting to the local agencies now, it's now reflected both B and I and the pools when we look through the details.


Q: Is there a five-year forecast by region on your site or statewide?

A: No five-year forecast. We do a longer term forecast for the state, but then once we get down into the region, we rely on the forecast we provide our clients individually where we choose not to even look at it at like a county wide or region basis because there's so many in particulars that we then just take it right down to the local level and hopefully that's a great benefit in a service that we provide to our clients directly is to not leave up to question that you've got to use a regional forecast for your results because we try to put the nail right on the head for you at the local level and what the outcome is.


Q: What is the outlook for the housing market and how does it impact sales tax/consumer spending?

A: I believe that, you know, the housing market should remain strong even with increased interest rates. It likely just means people won't be moving as much. There won't be a great demand. We had seen that impact back with the pandemic, right? Folks staying home, upgrading their properties. We saw that spike and building and construction results during the pandemic. 

Right through the pandemic, post pandemic. we saw double digit gains from the industry. Lot of people taking equity out, keeping contractors busy. That is still the case right now. If anybody is trying to get some work done at their house, don't be surprised if you hear a six-month waiting time as contractors are very busy. For us looking at sales tax, that means that sales tax generated as likely to be delayed a little bit, which then still gives us hope for 1Q. 2Q is going to be tough because of how strong 2Q was a year ago, but even flat, with post pandemic, means that the housing market has helped sustain sales tax. One - here on building construction growth, but then two - is for consumers knowing that they have equity in their homes gives confidence to still work through the increased prices on gas and inflation that. Yep. OK. I'm not losing on both sides. The weight of overall equity should help consumer confidence remain steady.



Welcome, everyone. So glad you're able to join us for HdL's latest California Sales Tax Trends and Forecast Webinar. For a quick introduction myself, I'm Bobby Young, Director of Client Services here at HdL and I'm joined by fellow Principal, Bret Plumlee. We both work on the sales tax team meetings with clients each quarter to review and analyze the sales tax which your local communities receive.



HdL has been serving communities for well over 37 years now. We currently represent over 500 agencies throughout the state, many of which are here, in California. These 500 agencies include cities, counties and special districts, and most notably, we are blessed to maintain a 99% client retention rate.



Let's jump right into fourth quarter 2021 results, most notably the October, November, December time period. It is the holiday sales period. As you see bottom line, there was no delay in the response with over 15% growth. Fourth quarter 2021 was by all accounts a phenomenal quarter for the economy and the individual results.

As you can see, we can start to break down and look at some of the subsections of the economy and where that 15% plus growth came from. Right at the very top, which we've been talking a lot about this the last few quarters is Autos and Transportation, which shows a 15% gain during that holiday period. That growth really caught us by surprise, if anybody remembers the forecast just last quarter, we weren't quite that optimistic because there were some headwinds at the time when we were considering. But lo and behold, the economy really showed up, especially on autos. We will have a lot to talk about with individual clients this quarter, especially those that are heavy on autos.

As you scroll down the list a little bit, you'll see Fuel and Service Stations plus 55%, not completely unexpected for us as we all started to see gas prices rise during that period, especially as consumption regained. We will talk more about that coming up here in the first quarter with conflicts in Russia and Ukraine really driving prices. But here, for the fourth quarter, gas stations were a huge part.

 If you look at the next two lines, we’ll focus a lot on General Consumer Goods. There was an extremely solid 18% rebound for brick-and-mortar locations. Restaurants too, caught us by surprise. We had seen a very strong summer both 2Q and 3Q from restaurants. This industry group had another 47% increase statewide with a great show all the way around. As you can imagine though, it came at the expense of somewhere and that place can be seen at the bottom line with the pools taking a little bit of a step backwards. 

We did have a continuation of a large retailer changing their allocations. We've spoken about this for the last three quarters now here. This is the fourth quarter for that. Plus, it has a lot to do with that 18% gain out of General Consumer Goods that you see given the return of brick-and-mortar stores. That activity locally stole a little bit from pools wasn't again completely expected by us but here it is, as far as actual results. 

What you might hear when we come out and meet with you, growth took place across the state. Regionally, Southern California had a strong 17% growth. The Bay Area saw a nice 13% increase over fourth quarter a year ago. Even as you look at the far North and Sierras, for the most part it has have remained fairly stable through this and remained stable through the pandemic. The rebound hasn't been quite as strong as what we've seen in some of the other more major metropolitan areas, but still positive all the way around the state.



For Forecast consideration, there is a lot to unpack here. Most notably, when HdL discussed the fourth quarter results, all our conversations touched on the Russia and Ukraine crisis being right at the forefront of driving gas prices and thinking about what it is going to do inevitably to consumers availability to spend in the upcoming periods. Supply chain disruptions and delays - what did it mean overall for prices of goods? Interest rates, inflation and prices all play a role, and I am going to talk about some of that in the next couple of slides. 

As we think about all of that and some of the potential headwinds, I think our instincts are to go a little bit more conservative, but let's take into account some other considerations like most Recent Performance. There was a very strong summer and now very strong fourth quarter winter results.

Labor Conditions - even though the labor market is tightening overall, wages are going up and we should be thinking about that with regards to the likelihood of a positive effect on sales tax.



Current Conditions. You can see how the wheels are connected here, but as we considered strong demand for consumer goods having upward pressure on pricing and assuming overall consumption stays the same, we end up with upward pressure on spending and sales tax dollars. It could have an eventual positive effect on sales tax, even supply chain and labor shortages, which may have downward pressure on supply and availability, but then, the impact there ends up having upward pressure on prices and then likely the same impact of upward pressure on spending and sales tax dollars generated.

This is a bit of an oversimplification, but as we think about sales tax, even with inflation, even with higher interest rates on the rise and higher gas prices, we’re still likely to see growth out of sales tax. 

And it has a lot to do with the fact that most of our spending in California is demand spending, the day-to-day items that we need to live, versus discretionary. And when we talk about discretionary income, a lot of consumers are into the stock market. It took its bumps throughout January and February then turned upwards again. This morning it was around 34,000 and that is still relatively in proximity to the 35-36,000 all-time-high that we experienced back during the fourth quarter which we are talking about today. So, there is a lot to take into consideration with our forecast.



For results overall statewide – just for perspective and historical comparisons, this has really been helping us as we look back on 1Q and 2Q20, the depths of the pandemic which was very short lived with regards to negative impacts there.

Then, we see the dramatic rebound that we've seen throughout the entire calendar year 2021, especially 2Q and that has only continued. And then you get a glimpse at what our outlook looks like for the remainder of the fiscal year. For most agencies, the 3Q-2Q period will define your fiscal year 21-22 and you can see in the first quarter, we are still expecting about an 11% jump statewide. If you look back to last year, first quarter, we saw 11% and so the most recent performance really does lean in for us what first quarter results will look like.

2Q, and even as you glance at fiscal year 22-23, we are thinking that growth will start to taper off. This is where some of those headwinds and some of the overall depth and how much more can people spend in terms of dollar amounts may take hold and we may start to see a flattening or a deceleration of growth. Not a decline overall, just a deceleration of growth. 

So, we're softening up starting in 22-23. I think this was also what we were looking at last quarter for the forecast given that we've wanted to make sure that we're not overly optimistic, but I think given most recent performance, there's not yet a need to be more pessimistic to think about a pullback.



Here, going in a little bit more, down to the nitty gritty and talking about local place of sale, think all kind of brick-and-mortar locals versus our pool impacts and most notably pools, as we talked about for quite a period of time now, online shopping especially by consumers. So, what you see is local place of sale, the POS line here, really damaged by the pandemic into the negative category had seen very strong rebounds, especially from those dramatic negatives, but here in 4Q20, a solid 20% plus for local place of sale. Then as you glance up, you see while overall statewide was much less, and that's the net effect of the for the pools, we had seen dramatic pool growth that helped sustain us back during the end of calendar year 2020 to offset the negatives. As we look outward, we do anticipate a local place of sale to remain strong and steady.



Autos and transportation grew significantly in the fourth quarter of 21. The local tax receipts increased 15.3% and that largely outperformed expectations. We have a few graphs that we've included this time to date to show the dynamics that are playing out in the auto sector. In terms of this particular chart, the total vehicle sales, you can see a big drop that took place in the volumes of vehicles.

Early during the pandemic, they recovered very quickly and then as stores and businesses reopened, supply chains increased and that included a shortage of chips that we've been talking about. We talked about during the pandemic and have been talking about three or four quarters now – the chips needed to manufacture the vehicles and the dealers just couldn't possibly keep up with the demand.



Then a big part of the story and we talked about this last quarter and again in the fourth quarter of 21, the prices definitely are playing a major factor in the overall increase in this sector. As supply became an issue and dealers were running low on inventory, the prices began to explode. We've talked about average price of new and used motor vehicles and that they have been at the peak levels highest level in the history and continue to grow every single quarter. Prior to the pandemic, the prices were very stable. They now appear to have started a plateau but are expected to remain elevated for quite some time. The industry experts are anticipating that supply will not meet demand until late 2023, early 2024 and that's going to keep the prices elevated. Consistent with upward pressure on pricing, the inflationary factor is playing a part in almost every major industry group.



On the chart talking about the inventory and sales ratio dealers have almost no inventory on hand. That also began falling in 2021, and this suggests that dealers are selling vehicles very quickly – another upward pressure on overall prices and the story here inventory is low and that was the story last quarter as well. As we start to drill into the fourth quarter 21 results, what we can see is the biggest portion by far in terms of this sector in autos and transportation 64% is generated by the new motor vehicle dealers and once again that business type and within this sector doing really well, up 16% for the quarter. So, in spite of the lower volume units, increased prices are keeping the dollars at the peak levels and that is a big part of the story.



Overall, we had projected actually 5% and the results came in much better again in this quarter at 15.3%. The long-term forecast keeps the growth about 24-28% above the pre-pandemic level of fiscal year 2018-19, and we're 24-28% above that. And again, the main factor pushing the sales tax upward is the ongoing increase in the prices of vehicle and combining that with strong demand, not only in autos and transportation, but almost every sector.



Moving on to Building and Construction, this industry group has done really well. It stabilized very early on during the pandemic and continued to have a very solid quarter in the fourth quarter of 21. The actual results, 5% growth compared to the 8% projection. The lumber prices rose to three times the pre-pandemic prices, and that's definitely had a big impact on the sales tax generated because of that business type in building and materials within building and construction. The permit values in this quarter rose a modest 2% in the final months of 2021.

The rising mortgage interest rates that we're seeing now start to grow as the Fed is ratcheting up the increase of federal interest rates – that's not yet dampened in the fourth quarter and even on into the first quarter that we're living in right now, not yet dampening the demand for new homes. The plumbing and electrical materials, which is a business type in this sector, will increase by 15% in the first quarter of 22, which is on the heels of three straight quarters of double-digit price jumps. The forecast is in keeping with the same as last forecast, so the same prior estimates and we're anticipating that material prices will decline and that's going to offset any gains in the construction activity. As a result, we're projecting flat forecast as you can see starting in second quarter 22 all the way through the first quarter of 23 and then modest increases ranging from 2% to 5% all the way out to 2026-27 fiscal year.



Food and Drugs is the smallest sector of the seven major industry groups and moves the needle the least statewide. It does have a significant impact on those cities that have especially a significant percentage of their sales tax generated by cannabis-related businesses. The three different business types primarily that are in this category are grocery stores, and drug stores, and cannabis-related activity. Grocery store prices and e-commerce sales are up several quarters in a row now, including fourth quarter, and that has contributed to a flattening out of the sales tax that's generated.

The drug stores that were hit hard in the calendar year 2020, have recovered in the later months of calendar year 2021. The cannabis-related activity was very strong during all four quarters of the pandemic in 2020 and now have plateaued. We saw that happening last quarter and that is flattening out the sales tax that's generated by these types of businesses. For those of you that do have a significant percentage of the cannabis type, business is definitely starting to flatten out and that's flattening out the overall growth in the sector. Long term, we're continuing to project stability with an annual forecast 2% all the way out to 26/27.



One of the key movers in the quarter and especially right now that's taking place with the Russian Ukraine crisis, is retail gasoline. Comparing the crude oil prices to the prices at the pump there definitely is a direct correlation.

The crude oil is expected to reach levels that haven't been seen since fiscal year 2013/14, and it literally fluctuates not only weekly, but daily, and often by the hour. At the time of this slide, cost is $114 per barrel. Right before the presentation started, it was at $113. So, it really moves a lot and it really has significantly been moving the needle in terms of the prices at the pump which is causing another upward pressure on the sales tax generated. 

The overall sector fuel and service stations is expected to have strong growth in this quarter of 50%. The actual was even a little bit better than that at 55%, but now because of the crisis that's taking place and the upward pressure, strong demand is causing a spike in the short term in the sales tax collection caused by an increase in consumption and demand for fuel. We're ratcheting it up even more over the next couple of quarters. That industry completely recovered in the later part of 2021 and early into 2022. Consumers have been paying, as you know, record prices at the pump increasing almost daily for regular and diesel gas. Combine that with higher jet fuel costs that are linked to a surge in air travel, especially in the quarter that we're talking about. It started last quarter and has continued on into the fourth quarter of 21 with upward pressure on sales tax. The crisis has restricted the global supplies of fuel that has pushed the WTI crude oil barrel prices up significantly. That started in early March. So, when you combine all these factors, the estimated revenue boost over the next three quarters is very solid last quarter. Fiscal year 21/22, aka the rebound fiscal year, and post 21/22, were definitely starting to talk about a slowdown in the growth - not a recession - but a slowdown in the growth. So, in this sector we are projecting a slowdown starting in the fourth quarter of 22 and all the way through the end of fiscal year 22/23. 

When we talk about those macro factors, it is impacting not only the fuel and service stations, but most of the other sectors. So, we see the increasing fuel prices and that will mean higher prices in other areas such as delivery of online products, other products, and the cost of food which is going to impact the grocery stores. It's also going to impact restaurants and hotels and that the cost of food is being passed along from the farmers. And in terms of the fuel, the increase in the cost of the fuel is impacting products that are made out of plastic.

Airline fees are affected as well, so what we definitely are seeing right now is the overall positive inflationary factor because of the demand. We are aware and we have built that into the forecast. The slowing down of growth, and a big contributor right now, is this increase in fuel. Long term forecast is consistent with most of the other major industry groups as mentioned about the traditional normal annualized cost. In this sector, we're projecting 2% growth all the way out to fiscal year 26/27.



In restaurants and hotels, we've had three quarters before fourth quarter of 21, very solid, and once again you can see 47% growth in the quarter where we had projected 40%. So, we had a big forecast out there and it did even better than anticipated which is continuing to help many of your cities and agencies grow in the second quarter of your fiscal year. The pandemic created stored up demand for food service and leisure experiences and Omicron did not detour the restaurant customers whatsoever. For the past two quarters, the sales for on-site, sit-down dining establishments have now surpassed the fourth quarter of 2019 and are projected to outpace the quick service fast food restaurants as the consumers continue, at least in this quarter and the one we’re currently living in, customers are focusing in on the experience of eating out and they're happy that they can do it once again.

And comparable to the story we're seeing with inflationary pressure, the rising menu prices in this sector, it's going to mean right now further gains in the sales tax that's associated, but the growth in this major industry group could be curved if the consumers start to react negatively to the volatile fuel prices. So once again, fuel is generating a kind of ongoing impact on all the other sectors as well. But overall, definitely a positive environment and almost in every sector this quarter. 



Shifting gears to General Consumer Goods… Holiday sales in fourth quarter 2020 is the green line. The largest category within the general consumer goods sector is discount department stores such as Costco, Walmart, Target, Sam's Club and the like. They definitely had an exceptional holiday period. Plus we started to see gas prices go up and those major retailers that do also sell gas, they report it here under general consumer goods. They don't separate out the two. So that too helps really boost up with the numbers and what it looks like even when you compare back to fourth quarter 2019 there in the blue.



The sub sectors that you know don't have maybe that that fuel component to possibly skew the results, Family Apparel, TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, DDS, and the like, have been doing exceptional all the way through the pandemic as folks steer their attention away a little bit from down the list department stores and maybe into a lower cost option to still get their needs.  But Family Apparel had a very nice fourth quarter, as well as specialty stores and then the traditional department stores, Nordstroms, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and others not yet back to where they were pre-pandemic, but a very nice rebound from where they were just one year ago, fourth quarter. So great showing for department stores when many of us had been questioning “Are malls dead? Are people going to go back to in-store shopping now that they've had the online experience?” and the results that we see here at a holiday sales do kind of solidify that consumers like to be in person. They like the in-store experience and it's not going to go away.



As we see right here on our most recent graph, major retailers and major mall locations need to continue to reinvent themselves in the experience, leading in obviously to restaurants within those. But you know a very nice diverse presentation of merchants that they're providing to potential customers. Here is a chart that we've been tracking for an extended period of time. We've been watching this dynamic of brick-and-mortar versus online.  As a client you'll be receiving this graph. It's a statewide look at it, but we don't have the ability to really dissect down to the local level because of all the dynamics that happen with the online component… think county pools and how that gets allocated. But keeping it a bigger picture statewide, we saw this dramatic drop in 2020 because of the pandemic.

And there by the exceptional continued growth out of online, now we see the return of brick-and-mortar in the in-store experience and what it looks like compared to any time prior before. We’re well in excess. And so, it's a good mark there for brick-and-mortar. The online jumps – we leave in little reminders here – the AB 155 (the initial regulations on out-of-state sellers) and AB 147 (most recently online out-of-state marketplace facilitator) – all those components going in definitely had the major jump up in the tax rate growth here in calendar year 21. Probably as we go outward, we will expect even this trend to eventually start to level off or become more normalized with people able to buy online but then also for especially volume shopping needing to go in store, and so the green line here is also expected to level off as we go forward.



Fourth quarter 2021 sees 18% growth out of general consumer goods overall. You can see the great results throughout calendar year 21. And what does that mean? When you look at this current result compared to fourth quarter 2019… just different ways to look at it visually, definitely a higher peak. Most will probably hear as we come out with results this quarter, if you are heavy on general consumer goods, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of your categories or for a lot of you, the general consumer goods category, in excess of where we were fourth quarter 2019.  And then as we turn our attention to fiscal year 22/23 and even looking forward, it is a category that we do anticipate will level off fairly quickly, a little bit more than others.



Then, as we talk about the next couple of categories, both Business and Industry and the Pools, we know that they have been both impacted by the same change and shift in the local tax, which was previously coming by way of the pools, now coming by way of local tax distributions from a major retailer. So that's along with AB 147 and that's kind of the where the two paths cross. AB 147 new online collections from out-of-state retailers that had this dramatic jump, but then the local shift really poses the 21% gain out of B and I.



Let’s spend a little bit of time talking about fulfillment centers, because that's where this biggest shift had occurred back in the first quarter of 21. So the jump here is from fourth quarter 20 to this 162% growth and 1Q21 had a lot to do with the change in reporting by a large retailer that continued throughout the calendar year. 

Moving on to calendar year 22 – when we look back, (so not when we meet with you this quarter, but going past this), we’ll expect to see a little bit more normalized activity or level of activity comparing to the prior year because we're no longer talking about the reporting change. Thank goodness. I think we beat on it a lot. So now we get past that, but most evident here, you could see fourth quarter 2021 with an 80% growth over the last year from the fulfillment center side.



And to put things into perspective, because business and industry is such a diverse category overall, you could see how much fulfillment centers specifically move the needle here on the category. Medical biotech, which as a result of the pandemic have been doing great, is starting to taper off. Then I think we would all take a nice sigh of relief knowing that numbers have changed statewide, as a lot less mask mandates of the fear of the pandemic definitely decreasing now and even at the fourth quarter and so some of this medical and biotech money is starting to dissipate compared to the high point of a year ago. And then other categories - small growth just kind of depends on the timing and seasonality effect when we think about a garden/agricultural and warehouse/farm/construction equipment. Sometimes they rise and fall depending on the time of year.



Going out further overall on a statewide best basis, just returning to normal historical growth of about 3% and it has a lot to do with the cost of goods getting more expensive. But remember business and industry as a lot of business-to-business transactions, little less impacted by consumers sediment with regards to purchasing. So, if demand is there for consumers than the business-to-business transactions will likely continue at a steady pace with the cost helping benefit sales tax at the end.



Then Pool performance, as the offset when we talked about that lead up to fourth quarter 2020 – that show of AB 147 having its impact here, then the change of allocations really pulling it down. And we did see the pools dropped 2% this quarter. While some aspects of the pool were up, especially during the holiday season, we saw some online retailers where we have good comparison data to a year ago they were up, but other functions and other pieces were down just a little bit.



How are the pools made up? You can see the general consumer goods and online shopping does contribute a heavy mark. But B and I and those business-to-business transactions that do funnel money back through the pools, they do make up a considerable amount of the overall pool category. And you can see fourth quarter 20, the green bar is up a little bit higher than a year ago.



We have seen strong double-digit gains taper off. As we go forward, they should normalize. The cost of goods and inflation, as we've talked a lot about, will inevitably, have a continued positive effect on the overall growth of the pools.



Statewide – how does it all come into play? Just with the Governor's announcement yesterday on a new package to help drivers and residents of California with higher gas prices, it has a lot to do with the results that we're seeing here and much of what we heard out of the state and their results overall. We really hadn't been negatively impacted on a sales tax base. You can see here it definitely was down 2%, only 2%, during the depths of the pandemic. But then in a very strong 11% growth with all of this considered in now for fiscal year 21/22, you can see we're expecting another 12% growth and that just continues to give us an overall dollar amount that's in excess of any time prior to. So not completely out of the question that we are, we've not just hit our marks from pre-pandemic, but now continuing up above and as we had talked about that deceleration of growth really softening up over the next coming two years, 2022/23 and 23/24 really around the 2.5 to 2% mark to take into account consumers adjusting to higher prices. 

Inflation hopefully will be starting to taper off at some point. But that balancing act will likely take about two fiscal years from our perspective. For some of you it may feel like a slowdown or a recession you might experience or even flat growth at the local level, or a decrease depending on the local makeup of your sales tax base, but overall while we experienced only a 2% drop during the pandemic where we shut down the economy, it wasn't nearly as bad as what we experienced during the Great Recession. As we go forward and if everything holds true, we experienced this slow down. It's going to feel like a recession. But on paper, we are anticipating it still to be slight positive growth overall. Once we go out further, a longer-term forecast, would then just be a return to normal historical growth somewhere around 3% overall statewide.



So final thoughts, 2021 tax receipts grew 11%. Year to date is up 17%. So, as you're adjusting for midyear and hopefully for clients that we prepared budgets for last quarter, you've already had a look at it and this really may not be a surprise, because we were anticipating overall a really strong 21/22 year. 22/23, we are looking at everything, especially the headwinds.

Take them into consideration, but then also understand the dynamic impact that it's going to have back to consumers. As you may have heard me mention, as a part of the Governor’s plan is also a rebate of $400 per registered vehicle back to consumers, I think then we have to consider that's more money into people's pockets. Most consumers are fairly healthy with strong savings, with equity in their homes, and no fear that home prices are going to completely drop, even with higher interest rates. People may stay in their homes, there's just not an incentive to move as much. Those that remain keep some equity in their pockets. And the stock market – as we talked about, yes, it's taken a hit the last couple of months and the crisis in Ukraine is definitely having its impact day-to-day with the fluctuations in the market, but overall, I continue to watch to see as soon as we get back solidly for maybe a week to two week period of time (back up to DOW being 35,000 or even in excess) really then leads us to believing Wall Street and investors have now taken into account the impacts and it may end up leading us to a solid summer period with the stock market. Then as we come back, when we think about discretionary spending at the local level, it could likely, as we've already built into the forecast, stay steady during the summer months, even with higher gas prices expected.


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