The Norman Transcript

Opinion

September 4, 2013

Midwest economy showing steady gains

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s economy, and that of eight other Midwest and Plains states, should continue to expand, albeit at a slower pace for the remainder of 2013. That’s the good news from the Creighton University economic survey.

The state’s numbers dipped slightly but overall the survey’s economic index remained in positive territory and rose to 53.8 in August from July’s 53.5.

Separately, sales tax figures continue to show growth in Norman and Moore.

City officials say much of it is from a bump produced when replacement goods were purchased following the May tornadoes in Cleveland County.

University economists predict positive growth for the fourth quarter but at a slower pace than early quarters. Exports and farm income are down from earlier in the year.

Survey director Ernie Goss told the Associated Press job growth is also likely to remain weak because manufacturers with ties to agriculture and international markets were cutting employment in August, Goss said. The jobs index declined to 52.8 in August from July’s 55.3.

The indexes in the survey report all range from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth, while a score below that suggests decline.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Goss said the business leaders surveyed are less optimistic about the next few months because they’re worried about international tensions and have questions about the implementation of health care reform.

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