Economic indicator shows slowed growth in Oklahoma
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
A leading economic gauge for Oklahoma continued its downward slide in July, but still points to growth in the months ahead, according to a report released Wednesday morning by Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
Oklahoma’s Business Conditions Index slumped to 52.7 from 56.8 in June.
The index, taken from a survey of businesses, is derived from new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time.
A number greater than 50 signals expansion in the next three to six months, and a number less than 50 indicates economic contraction.
“With drought conditions in all of the state’s 77 counties, it was not surprising to measure a decline in Oklahoma’s leading economic indicator. With feed costs rising, livestock producers in the state are selling off their herds. Thus, businesses linked to agriculture, especially livestock where there is not crop insurance, will experience slower to no growth in the months ahead. I do expect Oklahoma’s growth to remain positive but much slower in the months ahead,” said Ernie Goss, director of Creighton's Economic Forecasting Group, in a written statement.
The overall index for the nine-state Mid-America region fell below growth neutral for the first time since 2009 as it dropped to 48.7 from 57.2 in June.
July marked the third straight month the region’s index has declined, indicating a rising likelihood of a recession, according to the report.