Minnesota Budget Outlook and Trends


The state's budget is influenced by economic conditions, and in return, state budget and policy decisions should be informed by how Minnesotans are being effected by the economy. We provide analysis of the state's economic and budget forecasts as well as research on long-term budget trends.


January 2017

Uncertainty means caution necessary: Inside the November 2016 Economic Forecast

Minnesota has a projected $678 million positive balance for the remaining months of FY 2016-17, and a projected $1.4 billion positive balance for FY 2018-19. This brief takes a close look at the state's November forecast, which the governor will use as his starting point for setting the next biennial budget. Uncertainty, in both the national economy and with potential federal policy, should signal caution to Minnesota policymakers when considering budget and tax changes.

April 2016

Good news, but need for caution: Inside the February 2016 Economic Forecast

Minnesota continues to be in positive budget territory, with a $900 million positive balance for FY 2016-17, and a $1.2 billion projected positive balance for the upcoming FY 2018-19 budget cycle. These positive projected balances provide opportunities for the state to invest strategically so that more Minnesotans can access ladders into the middle class. However, lawmakers should also avoid making large and unsustainable tax cuts that could put Minnesota’s economic future at risk.

December 2015

Future economic strength depends on workforce: Inside the November 2015 Economic Forecast

Minnesota continues to be in positive budget territory, with a $1.2 billion positive balance for FY 2016-17. The state also has a projected positive balance for the upcoming FY 2018-19 budget cycle. These positive balances provide opportunity for the state to invest in its workforce to ensure a strong economic future for Minnesota.

March 2015

State strides into positive budget territory: Inside the February 2015 Economic Forecast

Minnesota's projected budget balance of $1.9 billion for FY 2016-17 is due to stronger economic growth, higher than expected revenues, and lower anticipated expenditures. Even as the state's economy has improved, many Minnesotans still struggle to make ends meet. State investments, such as affordable child care, would enable more Minnesotans to attain economic security.

Budget Outlook and Trends Blog Posts

April 16, 2024

Latest economic report shows Minnesota revenues coming in above forecast

Minnesota’s revenues are up, and the near-term national economic outlook is slightly improved compared to the February forecast, according to the new April Revenue and Economic Update from Minnesota Management and Budget. Here are some of the Minnesota Budget Project's top takeaways from the update, including what this might mean for budget and tax decisions this legislative session.

March 08, 2024

Minnesota February Budget Forecast shows improvement

The latest Minnesota budget and economic forecast shows an overall improved state budget picture. The forecast predicts a $3.7 billion general fund surplus projected for the current two-year budget cycle, followed by a $2.2 billion projected positive balance at the end of FY 2026-27. The improved outlook is largely the result of higher projected tax revenues estimated to come into the state. In this blog, we share our takes on the recent forecast and what comes next, which will provide policymakers, advocates, and the public with information to guide upcoming budget decisions in the 2024 Legislative Session.

December 18, 2023

Minnesota’s November Budget Forecast is a mixed bag

The state budget forecast predicts an $82 million positive balance at the end of the four years covered by the forecast. One-time surplus dollars generated in the past continue to be an important funding source throughout the four-year budget window. In this blog, we share our high-level takes on the forecast, which gives policymakers, advocates, and the public an initial look at the state’s budget landscape as we get closer to the upcoming legislative session.

November 27, 2023

Recent information points to stronger state budget picture

Recent budget reports suggest that Minnesota will likely project a larger budget surplus when the next legislative session kicks off. This in part reflects the fact that the national economy has performed more strongly this year than was previously anticipated. In October, Minnesota Management and Budget determined that the prior FY 2022-23 final general fund balance was $820 million higher than end-of-session estimates.