State Economist Sees Hopeful Signs In Latest Report
State Economist Jim Robinson says a new state report on Wyoming's economy shows some gradual improvement.
Robinson says the best news in the ''Wyoming Insight" report for July is the continuing improvement in the state's oil and gas industries. There were modest improvements in the price of both commodities, and the number of people working in the industries in June was up by 1,900 compared to June of 2016. Applications to drill were up by about a third over that same time.
But while there are hopeful signs for the critical energy industries in the report, Robinson also cautions a glut of gas, and especially oil, on the world markets is likely to keep prices from any big improvement over the next few months.
Robinson also says that while sales tax collections continue to lag in year-over-year comparisons, they are starting to improve somewhat. Final figures for Fiscal Year 2017--which ended on June 30--show statewide sales and use collections were down by 8.2 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2016. That deficit is actually smaller than the 12.9 percent negative margin that had been recorded three months ago.
Robinson says the overall trend shows gradually improving sales tax collections for most Wyoming counties as well as some key sectors of the statewide economy. Robinson says the latest numbers overall confirm his opinion that the state economy is getting better, albeit very slowly.