Economic index for state drops in December
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
A leading economic indicator for the state fell in December, but still points to growth in the months ahead, according to a report released Wednesday by Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
Oklahoma’s Business Conditions Index sank to 52.1 from 56.1 in November. 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 points to economic contraction.
Oklahoma expanded its labor force over the past year, which is a good signal as people entered the labor market in hopes of finding work. That wasn’t the case at the U.S. level as many states saw their labor forces shrink dramatically as people became discouraged and left the labor market, said Ernie Goss, director of Creighton’s Economic Forecasting Group.
The overall business conditions index for the nine-state Mid-America region rose to 49.5, up from November’s 48.0 and October’s 46.5, but remained below growth neutral for the fifth time in the past six months.