OU Foresees Stable Economic Growth

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma economy should continue to grow at a stable to slightly slower rate for the rest of this year, according to data from the University of Oklahoma Center for Economic and Management Research.

The center Monday released its February general business index, which is designed to measure for actual trends, and its Price College Indicators, which measure the potential for changes in trends.

The GBI, released monthly in cooperation with Southwestern Bell, measures a variety of indicators to get a reading of the overall economic health of the state and its two major metropolitan areas. It is benchmarked on 1987, with that year's data equaling 100. The state received a 130.3 index, up 2.1 percent from a year ago. Oklahoma City rose 2.1 percent to 127.7 and Tulsa rose 3.8 percent to 136.4. The monthly Price College Indicators -- measured on a scale of 0 to 100, with 50 as neutral -- charted U.S. employment at 51 in February, up from 48 the prior month. The core inflation index was 37, up from 36, while the Oklahoma employment index was 49, up from 45. The metro Oklahoma City employment growth indicator came in at 47, up from 44 in January, while the Tulsa area index was 52, up from 49. "While the central message for stable to slightly slower economic growth continues to be supported by the analysis, it should definitely be remembered that the state's economy and its major metro areas are currently experiencing quite favorable employment growth rates," the study noted. …