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Opinion

January 3, 2014

Polls suggest better year for economy

NORMAN — Separate polls of business leaders suggest a note of optimism for the economy in 2014.

More than half of the Oklahoma CPAs surveyed think the economy will improve this year. That’s up about 10 percent over the previous year. Only a handful thought the economy would decline.

More than 70 percent indicated optimism for their own companies or firms, compared to 55.4 percent from last year, and 59 percent expect moderate increases in their business’ growth, compared to 47.1 percent from last year.

The job market forecast was slightly sunnier, with only 5.9 percent saying Oklahoma would see fewer jobs, compared to 7.9 percent from last year. In contrast, 51.1 percent of CPAs said Oklahoma’s employment will get better, compared to 44.4 percent from last year.

Separately, a confidence index for the Mid-America Business Conditions Index jumped to 66.5 last month from 57.2 in November. The overall index rose just two points in November.

Oklahoma’s position was even better. The state’s overall index jumped to 60.2 from 49.3 in November. Components of the December index were new orders at 50.4, production or sales at 74.0, delivery lead time at 49.4, inventories at 74.7 and employment at 52.7, according to the survey from Creighton University.

The survey’s author, Ernie Goss, said expansions for business services firms and durable-goods manufacturers, including metal producers, more than offset pullbacks for nondurable-goods producers such as food processers.

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