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North Carolina Reports Strong Financial Performance

Annual Comprehensive Financial Report reveals overall net position increased almost $10 billion

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
 
 
North Carolina Reports Strong Financial Performance

The North Carolina State Treasurer has released its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, which showed the state’s financial results were strong for the fiscal year ending in June 2023.

The report stated the state’s overall net position increased $9.56 billion.

Economic performance

North Carolina’s economic figures were broadly in line with major nationwide levels, with some slight improvements on the average.

The state’s personal income growth was slightly higher than the national figure (5.8% in North Carolina compared to 5.1% for the US), which was driven by increases in both wages and salaries. Unemployment also remained low, dropping below the national average at 3.3% for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

Pension fund performance

The North Carolina Retirement System oversees four major retirement systems and several smaller systems and pension funds. The largest of the major retirement systems is the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS).

All the system’s pension plans follow the same target asset allocation policy, with 33% of assets invested in fixed income, 38% in global equity, 8% in real estate, 8% in alternatives, 7% in opportunistic fixed income and 6% in inflation sensitive assets.

TSERS returned 5.27% over the fiscal year. The investment plan is designed to focus on protection through diversification, achievement of stable and consistent returns that meet or exceed benchmarks and actuarial assumptions over the long term. The plan’s primary objective is ensuring that all liability payments and obligations are met.

State position improves

The State’s total net position increased by $9.56 billion or 12.35% as a result of this year’s operations.

Net position of governmental activities increased by $8.72 billion (12.28%) and the net position of business-type activities increased by $838 million (or 13.16%). At year-end, the net position of governmental activities and business-type activities totaled $79.75 billion and $7.21 billion, respectively.

The balance of the state’s general fund increased from $18.46 billion at June 30, 2022 to $22.37 billion at June 30, 2023, an increase of 21.18%.

The state had total long-term debt outstanding (bonds, special indebtedness, and notes from direct borrowings) of $7.53 billion, a decrease of 8.62% from the previous fiscal year-end.

Plans for 2024-25

The general assembly appropriated $29.7 billion in the general fund for fiscal year 2023-24, and $30.8 billion for fiscal year 2024-25.

This budget provides compensation increases for educators and state employees, reservation of billions of dollars for significant statewide purposes, and additional investment in state and local capital and infrastructure.

Specific priorities of the Appropriations Act include nearly $800 million in fiscal year 2023-24 and $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2024-25 for salary increases for state employees and state-funded local employees. Most state agency employees will receive a 4% pay increase in fiscal year 2023-24 and 3% increase in fiscal year 2024-25.

The budget will also be used for an adjusted teacher salary schedule, with those paid on the statewide teacher salary schedule receiving a 6.7% increase on average over the two financial years, as well as increased starting teacher pay to $39,000 in fiscal year 2023-24 and $41,000 in fiscal year 2024-25.

The budget plan for the next fiscal year also allocates $5 billion for capital projects and retiring state debt, $2.8 billion over the biennium for water and sewer infrastructure projects and $1.25 billion for a Regional Economic Development Reserve to fund local projects across the state.

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