Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cox: Construction in Central Oklahoma to Improve in '87

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cox: Construction in Central Oklahoma to Improve in '87

Article excerpt

Construction in central Oklahoma will turn around in 1987, according to Eddie Cox, vice president of Jim Cox Co. and president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Oklahoma.

"I look for this to get better," said Cox, "but it may not be until the last quarter.

"I may be the only who thinks this, but I am a hopeless optimistic."

Cox said he had not read the F. W. Dodge Local Construction Potentials report for January, but "I don't need a report to tell me things have been bad." The current economic woes, he said, mirror those of the downturn of 1974.

"That one lasted about two years, and this is the second year of the current problems," he said. "At least this year has started out worse than last year, and looking at 1974, I feel we'll start picking up again before long.

"Also, our economy seems to lag about two to three years behind the East and West coasts, and the East Coast has been booming about two years now. Some of that should start to trickle into this area before much longer."

Cox said there are some positive things on the horizon for Oklahoma which should signal the end of the downward trend.

"Interest rates are at the best levels they've been for a long time," he said, "and before long the people with money are going to start loosening up.

"Banks are skittish right now, but I feel the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) will keep a tight rein on the banks for a while and not let many more close.

"By the end of the year, all the banks that are left will be stable," Cox noted, "which will allow them to approve more construction projects which would in turn help the entire industry. …

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