DALLAS — Steady growth in Oklahoma revenues over the past 12 months indicates the state is recovering from the Great Recession, Treasurer Ken Miller said at a news conference on Thursday.
Total receipts over the past 12 months total $10.07 billion, Miller said. It’s the first time since August 2009 that the 12-month total topped the $10 billion mark, he said.
“Oklahoma’s economy has made great strides in the past year,” Miller said. “We see improving health in virtually every economic sector measured by revenue collections.”
The treasurer said revenues peaked in December 2008, with a 12-month total of $11.28 billion. The rolling 12-month revenue picture fell steeply for the next 13 months, bottoming out at $9.36 billion in February 2010.
Since then, Miller said, collections have increased each month. The state has recovered 37% of the revenue lost during the 13-month fall.
“Our revenues fell sharply once the Great Recession took hold,” he said. “Now 15 months into the expansion phase of the business cycle, we are seeing continued signs of steady recovery.”
The state’s lowest monthly unemployment rate in more than two years indicates a growth in private sector activity, which Miller said would further strengthen Oklahoma’s economy.
“With April’s preliminary rate set at 5.6%, the report shows that our private sector continues to add much needed jobs as we try to get back to full employment,” Miller told reporters in Oklahoma City.
The unemployment rate was 5.5% in February 2009, he said. Oklahoma’s lowest jobless rate over the past 35 years was 2.8% in December 2000.
Some economists had predicted Oklahoma’s economic recovery graph would be L-shaped, Miller said, with a long period of inactivity following a steep decline. Others saw a V-shaped recovery, with a steep increase in activity after the rapid fall-off.
The truth is somewhere in between, Miller said, with a steep decline and a slow but steady incline.
“Absent a significant external event, there is no indication the Oklahoma economy will experience a 'double-dip’ or W-shaped recovery, but will continue on its current expansionary path,” the treasurer said.
The $10.07 billion in collections is $651.1 million more than the 12-month period ending in May 2010. Revenues include $3.7 billion from the sales tax and $3.4 billion of net income tax collections.
Sales tax collections are up $258.8 million from the previous period. Revenue from corporate and personal income taxes rose $159.9 million.
May revenues total $812 million, an increase of $78.5 million from May 2010.
State sales tax revenues totaled $314 million in May, up $21 million from May 2010, while income tax revenues totaled $233.3 million, up $32 million.