Economists predict higher revenue for Colo.

DENVER - Gov. John Hickenlooper's economists are projecting that Colorado's tax receipts will be $159.6 million higher this fiscal year than they projected three months ago.

The additional money from fiscal year 2012-2013 will carry over to the budget that lawmakers will write and vote on in the spring. The governor has indicated he would ask that the increased funds go to education, economic development, public health, safety and infrastructure.

"The housing market is finally showing a sustained rebound and consumers are continuing to spend," the budget office reports. "However, some activities are slowing, most notably business spending, manufacturing, and international trade. Colorado is among the top states in economic performance due to its favorable mix of industries and skilled and entrepreneurial population. Though unemployment remains a challenge, the state’s economy appears to be further along in rebuilding from the Great Recession."

The latest figures continue a trend of quarterly forecasts which have shown steady, slow improvement in the Colorado economy. That has allowed more funding for schools.

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