"Employment growth figures in West Virginia are very, very sluggish, as they are in the rest of the country," he said.
Still, August collections were up about $200,000 over July.
"August in some respects was a better month than July," Muchow said.
Consumer sales tax collections for August of $97.5 million were about $560,000 below estimates, but 1.2 percent ahead of August 2012, he said.
Coal sales are also showing signs of stabilizing after a steep downturn in production, he said.
Corporate income tax payments of $2.8 million were $400,000 ahead of estimates, but Muchow noted that July and August are slow months for corporate tax collections, with September being the next big month when payments are due.
Year-to-date, overall tax collections of $570.2 million are running $32.2 million below estimates, and about 3.1 percent below the same point in the past budget year.
"It's not the greatest start for the budget year," Muchow said.
Meanwhile, tobacco tax collections of $9.3 million were $800,000 below estimates, and down nearly 16 percent from August 2012.
Year-to-date, tobacco tax collections are running 2.5 percent below estimates, ahead of a projected 1 percent annual decrease in consumption.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.