State Revenue Poised to Fall

Mike Seals - April 3, 2020 9:15 am

Oklahoma Gross Receipts to the Treasury in March show the calm before the storm. As has been the case for several months, they indicate slight overall growth, but with slowing sales tax collections and reduced oil and gas production, State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced on Friday.

“This month marks the end of almost three years of economic growth,” said Treasurer McDaniel. “I expect to see a much different picture emerge in the coming months.”

Total March receipts are $1.09 billion, up by $6.4 million, or 0.6 percent, from March of last year.

As a lagging economic indicator, Gross Receipts to the Treasury provide a look back at recent performance of the state’s economy. The numbers indicate the state’s economy remained relatively strong for almost three years, but had recently started to show signs of weakening. Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit Oklahoma.

McDaniel listed several data points showing a significant decline is underway:

  • First-time unemployment claims hit almost 45,000 the last week of March, the highest number ever reported in Oklahoma.
  • Oil prices fell from some $47 per barrel at the start of the month to less than $20 before month’s end. Already suppressed drilling dropped from 50 wells in April to 39 in March.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped by 23 percent during the first quarter of the year, its worst quarterly performance in history.
  • The Oklahoma Business Condition Index dropped to 45.7 in March, down from 51.5 in February. Numbers below 50 indicate expected economic contraction in the next three to six months.

“The economic indicators are disconcerting, but working together we will get through this downturn,” McDaniel said. “My thoughts and prayers are for the health and safety of my fellow Oklahomans. I am thankful for the first responders, health care providers and many others that are stepping up to make a difference.”

 

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