Very modest economic growth is projected in Oklahoma during the
second half of 1985, according to the Oklahoma Economic Outlook p
repared by the Office of Business and Economic Research at Oklahoma
"Although falling interest rates are expected to improve national
and state economic activity during the second half of the year," the
report said, "only very modest economic growth is projected for
Oklahoma during its second year of economic recovery."
The Oklahoma economy, which began to recover in 1984, the forecast
said, saw its manufacturing base start to weaken during the last
quarter of the year and has registered very little activity during
the first third of 1985.
"The most alarming trend during this time," the report said, "has
been a loss of nearly 7,000 employees since October from an already
reduced manufacturing base."
The loss of manufacturing employment is attributable to the
weakness witnessed in the national manufacturing sector, to the
relatively weak and uncertain oil price picture and to the continued
glutconditions in the housing sector or the state's economy.
On the positive side, the forecast said, the supportive service
sector and the state and local government complex continue to
experience good growth and have helped fuel an increase of just over
10,000 nonagricultural wage and salary jobs in Oklahoma since
In addition, the unemployment rate in the state has fallen from a
seasonal high of 8.4 percent in February to a rate of 6.9 percent in
Forecasts for major indicators of Oklahoma's economic activity
- Gross State Product will increase to $50.9 billion in 1985
from $48.6 billion in 1984.
"After controlling for inflation," the report said, "the real rate
of economic growth for Oklahoma in 1985 should be near 1.8 percent."
This is evidence of continued modest recovery but considerably
below the 3.2 percent real growth of 1984, the OSU study said.
The manufacturing sector, which led the recovery in 1984, is
expected to grow by only 1.9 percent in 1985.
"Supplanting manufacturing as the 1985 growth leader will be the
supportive services and the government sectors," the report said.
The supportive services sector is composed of wholesale and retail
trade; finance, insurance and real estate; and services.
These industries are expected to rise by 2 percent to 3 percent
over the course of the year. The construction, mining (oil and gas)
and agriculture sectors are expected to show little progress.
- Nonagicultural wage and salary employment is expected to
increase 1 percent to 11,700 in 1985, compared to a 1. …