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Economists forecast income boost in Washington, Idaho

Wed., Jan. 6, 2010, 3:39 p.m.

Some economists see Washington state workers enjoying an average 4 percent boost in personal income this year.

Idaho workers could see a 2.3 percent gain in income, according to the Arizona State Blue Chip Economic Survey. The ASU survey, prepared by regional economists and researchers, covers 12 Western states.

The expected 2010 bounce follows a lackluster 2009, during which most U.S. workers saw a drop in personal income, said Lee McPheters, an ASU research economist.

Both Idaho and Washington workers felt a 1.5 percent drop in personal income during 2009.

In the survey for other Western states, the Blue Chip report said Texas would have the largest personal income gain — 4.2 percent. California will have the smallest bump, only 1.7 percent, said McPheters.

Expectations for the number of permits that will be issued for construction of single family homes were also surveyed, with Idaho facing a potential 37 percent gain compared with 2009, according to the ASU numbers. Washington will see a 32 percent gain in permits issued, economists predicted.

California would see the largest gain in permits — 50 percent above 2009, according to the ASU survey. Among Western states Nevada would have the lowest gain in single-family permits, at 1.8 percent.

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