Slow and steady economic growth at a rate parallel with the national
economy is in store for Oklahoma this year, according to the Oklahoma
Economic Outlook report released Wednesday by Oklahoma State
The report, prepared by the Office of Business and Economic
Research at the College of Business Administration, uses a
250-equation model of the state economy.
The year 1989 closed a volatile chapter in the history of
Oklahoma's economy, it said.
"It took the state seven years to build up to the energy
boom/bust year of 1982 and it has taken another seven years to stage
some semblance of recovery," said Robert Dauffenbach, director of
the research office.
"Now that the adjustments are in place, the Oklahoma economy is
in a much better position to achieve economic growth that parallels
its neighbors and the nation."
Gross state product, the broadest measure of the state's
economic performance, is forecast to reach $61 billion this year, up
from $57.4 billion in 1989.
After adjusting for inflation, this represents a 1.9 percent
real rate of economic growth, about equal to prospects for the
national economy, the report said.
Gains in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and services
will be chief contributors to real output growth, the report said.
The mining and construction sectors should be stable.
Nonagricultural wage and salary employment for 1989 should show
a 0.5 percent gain over 1988, the report said. The approximately
1.1 million workers in that category last year are expected to grow
this year by 8,000 people, or 0.75 percent.
The unemployment rate trended downward in 1989 and is expected
to remain stable this year, the report said.
Real personal income in 1989 rose by 1.8 percent, and continued
growth by 2 percent to $36 billion is forecast this year.
From 80 percent of the national figure in 1989, Oklahoma real
personal income should reach 81 percent of U.S. income this year,
the report said.
Oil prices are expected to undergo some mid-year weakness and
then recover later in the year. The refiner's average acquisition
price of oil should remain in the $17.50 per barrel range, the
The natural gas price is expected to climb to $1.89 per million
cubic feet at the wellhead, the report said, and many forecasters
have natural gas prices climbing steadily into the 1990s.
Oil prices in 1989 were less volatile and somewhat higher than
the previous year, which helped the Oklahoma economy, the report
Natural gas prices were stable, and natural gas is beginning to
be recognized as an important fuel of the future in the wake of
mounting environmental problems, it said.
"The state economy is now beginning to move significantly off
the shallow-bottom of activity achieved in 1987-88," Dauffenbach
Key to Oklahoma's improvement is a strong national economy,
which is into its seventh year of economic expansion for a peacetime
record, the report said.
The report said no national recession is predicted by the firm
that provides a national forecast for the Oklahoma State Econometric
However, national economic growth is expected to be weak during
the first half of this year. Real gross national product is
expected to grow by 1. …