Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State to Enjoy Moderate Growth into `97

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State to Enjoy Moderate Growth into `97

Article excerpt

Although the Oklahoma economy is expected to slow in the remainder of 1996 and in `97, it is likely to maintain moderate growth in the period ahead.

Oklahoma is in the midst of an expansion that began in 1988. Since then, the state's economy has been stable and growing at a moderate pace.

During that time, job growth has been in excess of 2 percent in each year except 1991 and 1992 -- when modest job gains in Oklahoma compared favorably with the job losses incurred by the nation during the recession. "During its recent expansion, the Oklahoma economy has become more diversified with growing services and manufacturing sectors offsetting the shrinking mining sector," said Dr. Tim R. Smith, a senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Smith and two other economists from the Federal Reserve were in Oklahoma City Wednesday night to present one of the Fed's economic forums. The Oklahoma City presentations were part of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's series of economic forums held each year in the seven states of the 10th District. Service-producing industries have been leading the state's expansion, Smith said. "Strong growth in business and health care services have pushed service job growth in Oklahoma ahead of service job growth in the nation. Other service-producing industries such as retail trade have also been growing at a solid pace," he said. "The recent period of growth in service-producing industries is probably coming to a close, but the state's business climate remains attractive to telemarketing and other business service firms." And while expansion in retail trade likely will slow in the months ahead, Smith said employment and income growth in the state will remain strong enough to support moderate growth. Dr. George Kahn, assistant vice president and economist with the Federal Reserve, said the nation's economy is expected to grow at a solid pace over the rest of this year and into next year. …

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