As of March 31, 2017, New York City’s unrestricted cash balance stood at $11.803 billion, down $1.913 billion compared to last year.  Over the past twelve months, the balance has averaged $10.191 billion, compared to $10.392 billion for the same period last year.  The Comptroller’s office forecast indicates that cash balances will fall below last year’s levels, although the city’s liquidity position remains strong compared to historical levels.

In our November 2016 Cash Letter, we projected that the annual cash balance low would occur during early to mid-December and would measure between $5.5 and $6.0 billion. This year’s seasonal low occurred on December 5, 2016, and measured $5.421 billion. Last year’s low occurred on December 14, 2015, and measured $7.086 billion.

The following projection update outlines expected cash balances through the end of May 2017, and incorporates relevant factors from the FY18 Preliminary Budget.  Upon release of the Executive Budget we will have a better understanding of the final month of the fiscal year. At that time we will be able to provide a clearer picture of the fiscal year-end cash balances.

The City’s cash balances rose steadily from FY11 to FY16.  The average daily balance for FY16 measured $10.684 billion compared to $9.460 billion in FY15, $7.779 billion in FY14, $5.959 billion in FY13, $5.146 billion in FY12, and $5.053 billion in FY11.   At the close of FY16, the City recorded an unrestricted cash balance of $11.719 billion, the highest year-end closing balance on record.  In FY17 to-date, the average daily balance of $9.551 billion has been lower than last year but still higher than any prior year.

The projection assumes a slowdown in revenue growth.  While New York City’s economy remains robust, the rate of economic growth is slowing, with a corresponding slowdown in job growth from the record levels of the past few years.  Also contributing to lower cash balances compared to last year are lower transfers from the capital proceeds fund into the general fund, which are expected to be $1.025 billion this year, compared to $1.902 billion in the same period in FY 2016.  At the same time, total expenditures are on the rise, driven by increases in spending on fringe benefits for city employees, higher debt service payments, and rising costs associated with public assistance and other social programs.

Projection details are in the following pages of this document.

NYC Projected Cash Balances
($ Millions) 

High Low Baseline
03-Apr-17     12,219   11,122     11,670
04-Apr-17     12,804   11,655     12,230
05-Apr-17     12,865   11,710     12,288
06-Apr-17     13,015   11,846     12,430
07-Apr-17     12,445   11,328     11,886
10-Apr-17     12,269   11,167     11,718
11-Apr-17     12,277   11,175     11,726
12-Apr-17     12,409   11,295     11,852
13-Apr-17     12,406   11,292     11,849
14-Apr-17     12,038   10,957     11,497
17-Apr-17     11,847   10,783     11,315
18-Apr-17     11,721   10,669     11,195
19-Apr-17     11,634   10,590     11,112
20-Apr-17     11,511   10,478     10,994
21-Apr-17     10,780     9,813     10,297
24-Apr-17     10,542     9,596     10,069
25-Apr-17     10,490     9,548     10,019
26-Apr-17     10,521     9,576     10,049
27-Apr-17     10,509     9,566     10,037
28-Apr-17     10,793     9,824     10,309
01-May-17     10,558     9,591     10,075
02-May-17     10,435     9,479       9,957
03-May-17     11,341   10,302     10,821
04-May-17     11,342   10,303     10,823
05-May-17     10,671     9,693     10,182
08-May-17     10,390     9,438       9,914
09-May-17     10,191     9,258       9,724
10-May-17     10,166     9,235       9,701
11-May-17     10,008     9,092       9,550
12-May-17       9,868     8,964       9,416
15-May-17       9,466     8,599       9,032
16-May-17       9,156     8,317       8,737
17-May-17       9,221     8,377       8,799
18-May-17       9,037     8,209       8,623
19-May-17       8,350     7,585       7,968
22-May-17       8,062     7,324       7,693
23-May-17       7,951     7,223       7,587
24-May-17       7,873     7,152       7,513
25-May-17       7,802     7,087       7,445
26-May-17       7,724     7,016       7,370
30-May-17       7,642     6,942       7,292
31-May-17       9,304     8,452       8,878

NYC Cash Balance Monthly Detail
($ Millions)

Inflows Apr-17 May-17 Apr-May-17
Opening Balance 11,803.22 10,308.80 11,803.22
Sales Tax 617.29 534.61 1,151.91
Utility Tax 16.63 16.63 33.26
Commercial Rent Tax 26.55 6.18 32.72
Personal Income Tax 1,660.00 514.68 2,174.68
General Corporation Tax 167.45 57.42 224.86
Banking Tax 0.43 2.63 3.06
Unincorporated Business Tax 507.47 34.86 542.33
Real Property Tax 589.45 93.44 682.88
Other Taxes 305.55 250.24 555.79
Less Refunds All Taxes -76.70 -76.70 -153.41
Total Taxes 3,814.11 1,433.99 5,248.10
Federal Welfare 97.99 251.45 349.44
Federal Education 115.71 214.81 330.52
Federal Community Development 13.50 12.51 26.00
Federal Other 131.60 148.66 280.27
Total Federal Aid 358.80 627.43 986.24
NYS Welfare 39.86 94.65 134.52
NYS Health 35.25 84.86 120.12
NYS Education 435.57 1,777.10 2,212.68
NYS Higher Education 0.00 0.00 0.00
NYS Other 12.33 40.91 53.24
Total New York State Aid 523.02 1,997.53 2,520.55
NYS Revenue Sharing 0.00 0.00 0.00
Other Intergovernmental Aid 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total Intergovernmental 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water Board 0.00 0.00 0.00
Interest Income 8.53 8.53 17.07
Fines and Forfeitures 88.68 88.68 177.36
Miscellaneous Revenue 141.38 333.52 474.90
Senior College Tuition and Fees 0.21 0.21 0.42
Capital Interest 0.10 0.10 0.19
Housing Revenue 3.93 3.93 7.86
Total Miscellaneous 242.83 434.97 677.80
Prior Federal Aid 41.58 75.11 116.69
Prior NYS Aid 2.44 5.23 7.68
Total Federal And NYS Prior Aid 44.02 80.34 124.37
Balance Sheet Inflows 19.57 19.57 39.13
Federal/State Capital 83.00 26.00 109.00
Transfers from Capital Proceeds 125.00 900.00 1,025.00
Payroll Taxes Inflows 164.52 165.21 329.73
Seasonal Borrowing 0.00 0.00 0.00
Other Operating Inflow 446.90 446.90 893.79
Total Other Inflows 838.99 1,557.67 2,396.66
Total Inflows 5,821.77 6,131.93 11,953.70

NYC Cash Balance Monthly Detail
($ Millions) 

Outflows Apr-17 May-17 Apr-May-17
Payroll 1,452.42 1,458.44 2,910.86
Pensions 786.09 786.09 1,572.18
Social Security 149.81 151.36 301.16
Health Plan 358.00 358.00 716.00
Other PS 99.12 99.12 198.25
Total PS 2,845.44 2,853.01 5,698.45
PA 206.14 294.20 500.35
MA 387.38 386.18 773.56
Other DOSS 208.59 185.14 393.73
HHC 133.56 53.52 187.07
TA 0.10 0.00 0.10
HA 3.00 0.00 3.00
Lump Sum 224.03 230.85 454.88
Vendor Payments 1,676.21 1,408.36 3,084.56
Other OTPS 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total OTPS 2,839.01 2,558.24 5,397.25
City Capital 570.00 715.00 1,285.00
Other Outflow Capital 17.00 170.00 187.00
GO Debt Service Funding 0.00 0.00 0.00
NYCTFA Debt Service Funding 0.00 213.41 213.41
Other Debt Service Funding 0.00 0.00 0.00
Repay Seasonal Borrowing 0.00 0.00 0.00
Payroll Taxes Outflow 776.14 784.17 1,560.30
Other Outflows 268.61 268.61 537.22
Total Other Outflows 1,631.75 2,151.18 3,782.93
Total Outflows 7,316.19 7,562.44 14,878.63
Net Flow -1,494.42 -1,430.51 -2,924.92
Ending Balance 10,308.80 8,878.29 8,878.29

Prepared by Irina Livshits, Division Chief • Published by the NYC Comptroller’s Office, Bureau of Budget • Preston Niblack, Deputy Comptroller for Budget