Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Significant Growth Forecase for Oklahoma Economy

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Significant Growth Forecase for Oklahoma Economy

Article excerpt

TULSA _ A team of economists predicted Wednesday that Oklahoma's economy would grow significantly in 1993 behind a gross state product that reaches $3.6 billion and 7,000 new jobs.

"It would take an unusual piece of bad luck for us not to trot along behind the growth of the U.S. Gross National Product," Larkin Warner, an Oklahoma State University economics professor, said at the annual Economic Outlook Conference sponsored by the OSU Office of Business and Economic Research and College.

"We can hardly avoid growing at a reasonable rate during the rest of the year."

The forecast was based on a model that assumes consumer confidence will continue to improve, inflation will stay at 3 percent, U.S. export growth will be lagging, non-residential construction will be depressed and the federal budget will be reduced by $10 billion.

Michael Applegate, another OSU economics professor, said the gross state product would increase 5.7 percent (2.2 percent adjusted for inflation) in 1993, more than two-thirds of it from the service sectors.

Gary Simpson, a finance professor at OSU, said Oklahoma banks were as safe and strong as they have been in 10 years, but that a smaller gap between rates earned on assets and rates paid for funds will keep banks from "unimaginable" profits of 1992.

"Banks will be in a position to lend more money in 1993, but they will be conservative lenders," Simpson said.

Applegate said Oklahoma's unemployment rate is expected to stay at 6.3 percent, but personal income would grow by just 1.3 percent when adjusted for inflation. The per capita income would stay at 82 percent of the national level, he said.

He also said that state tax receipts were 2 percent below expectations in the first half of fiscal year 1993. The fiscal year ends June 30. A modest 4. …

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