We have quite a few things happening that are starting to look a little bit more promising for the spring and the next fiscal year. The most exciting change is that as of this day, crude oil hit an 18 month high point. The New York Mercantile Exchange has West Texas Intermediate at $52.35 a barrel. It appears the basis has transitioned from $40 per barrel to $50 per barrel, possibly being the basement commodity price. This is extremely good news if it holds. Let’s just hope this is the gift that keeps on giving.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news right now. We are still seeing a lag in sales tax, income and motor vehicle collections. As we go forward, we can probably expect to see an increase in sales tax revenue due to the increase in drilling activity from the increased crude oil price. There was an interesting article in Bloomberg and a similar article in Inside Business this month that highlight the increase in petroleum sector hiring before the recent rise in prices. If the crude oil price stays above $50, Oklahoma could have an economic rebound soon.
Happy New Year!