Minnesota appears to be lifting itself out of the economic doldrums a little faster than expected.

Minnesota’s general fund revenues totaled $2.91 billion in November and December, about $62 million more than state budget officials predicted.

State budget officials attribute the healthy numbers to stronger than expected income tax payments, in part reflecting the state’s lower unemployment numbers. Individual income tax receipts were $25 million better than forecasted.

Minnesotan’s weren’t spending a lot more, however. Sales tax receipts for the last two months of the year were $1 million less than forecast and corporate tax receipts were $8 million above forecast.

General fund revenue was 6 percent better than during the last two months of 2010.

State and national economists say the chance the United States will slip into another recession this year has become far less likely than they predicted last summer.

Consumers are increasingly confident and the labor market continues to improve, the state said.

Economists have not, however, entirely ruled out the United States slipping into another recession.

“Forecasters continue to expect sub-par growth during the remainder of 2012 leaving the U.S. economy with little cushion against an unexpected shock,” budget officials said in a statement.

Economists are particularly concerned about the European debt crisis.

“While most believe that the current U.S. recovery will be sufficiently robust to withstand a mild recession in Europe, a more severe European recession could end the current U.S. economic expansion,” budget officials said.

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