Eckstrom: Economy may have not yet bottomed (Audio)

When the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisers meets it may have reason for further lowering the state’s revenue projection. Comptroller Richard Eckstrom announced on Friday that state revenue is down 6.4 percent compared with last year, and the state took in almost $66 million less revenue during February than it did in February 2009.
Eckstrom says while the Board of Economic Advisers had predicted February would be a tough month, the revenue drop was worse than expected by everyone.  He says he has sent letters to budget writers in the General Assembly, who are currently putting together a spending plan for next fiscal year.
Eckestrom’s economic outlook isn’t pretty and he advises state agencies to set some money back because he says the decline in revenues is not over.  He says February may be an indication that the economy has not yet even reached bottom. He advises budget writers to be extremely conservative.
We talked to Eckstrom from Washington where he’s meeting with stimulus leaders at the White House.
(Eckstrom on revenue  MP3   3:04)
Eckstrom on revenue 

Since the fiscal year began July 1, the state has taken in $247.7 million less than it has during the same time last year. 
The House will soon debate a budget plan passed its Ways and Means Committee, to cut $104 million dollars from the funding of state agencies.