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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lower elevation travel to be snow free

Thanksgiving holiday travel should be snow and ice free through Friday, but the National Weather Service said some substantial snow may fall on the east slopes of the Cascades starting at 2,500 feet in elevation.

Winter expected to be colder, wetter than usual in region

Last week, I gave our area snowfall predictions for the upcoming winter. Snowfall totals in our region for November are likely to end up above normal as more snow is expected toward the end of the month. Here are general winter regional outlooks for the Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada, Southern California and northern Mexico, and the northern Great Plains and the Midwest.

Revenue forecast up for biennium

OLYMPIA – Compared to the last time economists tried to predict Washington’s economic future, in June, the revenue forecast is up just slightly for the rest of this biennium and through the next two-year budget cycle, a state panel was told Wednesday afternoon. On the upside, construction is improving and employment should slowly rise, although it won’t get back to pre-recession levels until sometime in 2014. On the downside, manufacturing is off a bit and so are exports except for airplanes, state economist Steven Lerch told the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Washington facing slow recovery

OLYMPIA – Washington’s economic outlook barely changed over the last four months as the state’s few bright spots – jobs in aerospace and software – were all but canceled by pending national and international problems. The state continues to experience a slow recovery, State Economist Steve Lerch told the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council on Wednesday. If current projections hold, it sees an extra $156 million in its main budget – about one-half of 1 percent of a $30.4 billion budget – that wasn’t available when the Legislature approved a spending plan in April.

Washington revenue forecast flat

OLYMPIA -- Washington's budget outlook is about the same as February, with bright spots in a few areas like aerospace and software but concerns over a recession in Europe and the "fiscal cliff" facing the United States.

Region’s economy lagging, forecaster says

The Spokane region remains in the grips of a stubborn recession even as the Seattle area and other leading cities across the country rev up economic activity and new jobs, said Shaun O’L. Higgins, a marketing executive and consultant who for years has delivered financial outlooks for the Inland Northwest. He provided an unvarnished assessment during a Greater Spokane Incorporated meeting Friday morning of what the past four years brought Spokane: “Since March 2008, we have lost jobs at a rate almost twice the national rate.”

Relatively rosy state budget forecast expected

OLYMPIA – Washington might get the most optimistic budget outlook in years today when state economists deliver the latest revenue forecast. The demand for state services may be lower and the amount of expected revenue may be higher than last November, signaling a shift of more than $500 million to the good.

Snow blankets West Side; Inland Northwest may see few inches

Snow showers have blanketed most of Western Washington over the weekend, snarling traffic in Seattle and its suburbs and stranding buses on freeway ramps. More snow showers are predicted for the West Side through midweek, with the heaviest load of snow predicted by Wednesday.