Economists see Kentucky heading for $10B milestone

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A panel of state economists is predicting that modest growth over the next two years will push Kentucky's annual General Fund revenue above $10 billion for the first time in 2016.

The economists, serving on the Consensus Forecasting Group that advises government officials on revenue trends, agreed Friday that the state is continuing a slow rebound from economic recession.

Frank O'Connor, an Eastern Kentucky University economics professor who chairs the panel, said he believes consumers are ready to start spending again on big ticket items like automobiles, which will push up sales tax collections, one of the state's chief sources of revenue.

Gov. Steve Beshear's staff will use the predictions to begin drafting the 2015-16 biennial budget to be presented to the Legislature in January.

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