Oklahoma’s economy continues to send out mixed signals. The housing market, long a source of stability in many communities, still suffers with record foreclosures. At the same time, the state treasurer reports every major tax category increased in May over the same time a year ago.
Ken Miller, an economist and former state legislator elected to office last year, said the state is 15 months into an expansive business cycle. He told reporters gross receipts for the state topped $10 billion for the last 12 months for the first time in nearly two years.
That’s good news for a state battered by the national recession. Some feared the state could suffer a double dip into recessionary times. But Miller said he didn’t predict that, short of some significant outside event.
“We certainly have made great strides in the last year, and we’re seeing improving health in virtually every economic sector that we have,” Mr. Miller told the Associated Press. “Our revenues fell sharply once the great recession took hold, but we are now 15 months into the expansion phase of the business cycle, and seeing continued signs of steady recovery.”
The state’s declining unemployment rate, which dropped from 6.1 percent in March to 5.6 percent in April, is a sign that the private sector is beginning to regain job lost in the recession.
Overall, gross revenue collections in May totaled $812 million, an increase of $78 million, or nearly 11 percent, from May 2010. Personal and corporate income tax collections, sales taxes, motor vehicle taxes and gross production taxes on oil and gas all improved in May compared to the same month last year.