While the energy industry is dragging down economies in Oklahoma and other states with a heavy oil and gas sector, the economies in the midwest continue to slip for the past several months, according to the Mid-American Business Conditions Index conducted by Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.
The report he issued Monday says the index dropped to 39.6 in December from 40.7 in November, 41.9 in October, 47.7 in September and 49.6 in August. His survey was of supply managers in Oklahoma and eight other Midwest and Plains states and it showed more evidence of a regional economic slowdown.
“Overall, that’s the lowest since the recession back in February of 2009,” said Goss in his YouTube explanation of the index. “Employment is big…we’ve lost about 18 thousand jobs in the 9 states combined.”
He blames manufacturing losses linked to the strong dollar and economic weakness among trading partners.
“What would give us a sweet 2016? A weak US dollar,” said Goss. “Folks, I’m sorry, but it’s not leading as much as we thought.”
While many consumers would contend the national economy is growing, why not the regional economy?
“The overall economy is growing,” explained Goss. “However, at a very slow pace and the manufacturing economy is declining and withering.”
And consumers in Oklahoma and the eight other states probably shouldn’t expect much of a wage hike in 2016.
“We asked the businesses how much they expected to raise wages this year—2.2 percent,” added Goss. “Still not what we want. We’d like to see three to four percent but 2.2 percent is what we’ve been seeing and that’s what we’ve been getting!”
Listen to his discussion of the latest index findings.