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Comptroller reports New Yorkʼs economy is strong as ever

As New York added nearly 80,000 job, its economy out-performed US growth for the seventh consecutive year

New York City’s economy grew three percent last year, outperforming US GDP growth for the seventh consecutive year.

While the measure of real gross city product is slightly below the 3.1 percent growth rate in Fiscal Year 2018, Comptroller Scott Stringer said the numbers are a sign of “the continued strength of our City’s economy and fiscal position.

In his Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, Stringer noted the city added 79,700 private-sector jobs, an increase of two percent, while average hourly wage in the private sector rose a robust 4.1 percent.

Comptroller Scott Stringer

The citywide unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, the lowest level on record. The largest job increases were in education and health and social services.

For the 39th year in a row, New York City ended the fiscal year with a balanced budget that included a $5 million surplus.

In accordance with the City Charter, the CAFR is released annually no later than October 31. In addition to the financial statements of the City as a whole and for each of the City’s accounting funds, the CAFR contains the basic financial statements of the City’s five pension systems and closely-related entities such as NYC Health + Hospitals, the NYC Water and Sewer System, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

The Comptroller’s Office Bureau of Asset Management which handles its five retirement systems, reported $207.9 billion in assets under management.

The pension trust fund assets increased by $12.1 billion in FY19, for a return of 7.2 percent.

The Transitional Finance Authority (TFA) issued a total of $6.18 billion of long-term bonds to finance the City’s capital needs.

Antoerh $1.47 billion were issued by the Municipal Water Finance Authority to finance the capital needs of the water and sewer systems.

Refundings of bonds of the City and the TFA generated $612.18 million in budgetary savings and refundings of Water Authority bonds generated $323.81 million of savings over the lifetime of those bonds.

As of June 30, 2019, the City’s outstanding General Obligation debt, the TFA’s Future Tax Secured debt, and the Water Authority’s debt together totaled $106.05 billion.

The Comptroller’s Office sets and enforces prevailing wage rates for construction work on New York City public work projects and building service work on City funded work sites.

In FY19, the office assessed over $2.4 million in underpayments and interest against City contractors that violated New York’s prevailing wage laws.

A total of $20,000 in penalties were imposed against those city contractors.

Since 1981, the City Pension Funds have invested in Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs) and, as June 30, 2019, the program constituted $3.12 billion in total assets performing above its benchmark.

Since inception, the program has financed the construction or preservation of over 126,030 units of affordable and workforce housing and 593,297 s/fof commercial space in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

Audits by the Comptrollers office last year identified approximately $12 million savings and it released its fifth annual Making the Grade report, which evaluates each City agency’s spending with M/WBEs.

Last year, Stringer’s office also launched the Boardroom Accountability Project 3.0, a first-of-its-kind initiative calling on companies to adopt a policy requiring the consideration of both women and people of color for every open board seat and for CEO appointments.

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