OKLAHOMA CITY – October was another good month for Oklahoma’s economy, as measured by the monthly gross receipts to the treasury report issued today by State Treasurer Ken Miller. In fact, compared to the same month of the prior year, collections rose by nine percent, the highest percentage in eight months.
Miller said the positive October report was driven primarily by personal income tax collections, up by more than 20 percent, and better gross production numbers, which earlier this year had fallen as much as 54 percent below prior year collections.
“In spite of the uncertainty surrounding the national elections and the impending fiscal cliff, Oklahoma’s economy is showing marked improvement,” Miller said. “After leveling off for some six months, revenue collections have resumed their positive trajectory. Last month, we thought we had turned a corner with extraction taxes and it now appears we have.”
October gross production collections, while still below prior year numbers, were down by a little more than 7 percent from the prior year. If not for the late deposit of $8.32 million in gross production collections from October of last year, collections from that source would be down 17.3 percent from the prior year. Even so, that would be a significant improvement from the last several months.
The state’s other major revenue streams — sales and motor vehicle taxes — also grew during October, up four percent and almost 12 percent respectively.
More positive signs
The Business Conditions Index for Oklahoma improved in October. The leading economic indicator rose to 63.3 from 56.6 in September. Numbers above 50 mean growth is expected. The weakest number in the survey, while still in positive territory, is in the area of employment due to some reports of shortages of skilled workers.
Oklahoma’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose to 5.2 percent in September, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The reason for the hike by 0.1 percentage points from August is that labor force participation increased more than employment. During the month, 10,920 jobs were added in the state and the number of jobless went up by 2,720.
The revenue report for October sets gross collections at $913.47 million, up $75.46 million or 9 percent from October 2011.
Gross income tax collections, a combination of personal and corporate income taxes, generated $315.14 million, an increase of $45.87 million or 17 percent from the previous October.
Personal income tax collections for the month are $288 million, up $48.41 million or 20.2 percent from the prior year. Corporate collections are $27.17 million, down by $2.54 million or 8.6 percent.