State comptroller gives economic snapshot of North Country, state

PLATTSBURGH - The state's economy is down, but not necessarily out, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

The state comptroller gave an overview of New York's economic situation during an economic roundtable discussion hosted by the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce July 11.

During his discussion, DiNapoli described the state's fiscal year - which began April 1 - as both a "time of great challenge" and "crisis." First-quarter revenues for the months of April and May were down 40 percent compared to last year, which he contributed to the national recession, loss of revenue on Wall Street and the state's growing unemployment situation.

Though there has been "a significant drop-off in revenue coming to the state," said DiNapoli, New York is "getting through the early part of the fiscal year because spending is also down."

"We're still off from the financial plan, but it reinforces what we've said from the beginning that it is absolutely crucial that we carefully monitor revenue and spending and do the best we can to manage spending more effectively, especially in view of the continued revenue decline," said the state comptroller.

Though not yet finalized, a preliminary look at figures for the month of June - which DiNapoli said will be more indicative of what lies ahead for the fiscal year - show another down month for revenue.

"It's certainly not going to be higher; it's not going to be a reverse of a trend of the first two months," admitted DiNapoli. "The question is going to be how much of a decline in terms of being off the financial plan it will be."

"We're going to be in a tough situation from a revenue perspective," he added.

The state's annual budget hasn't helped matters either, according to DiNapoli, who said the budget was based on "the hopeful notion the economy is going to recover more quickly than most of the experts seem to be predicting."

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