Wyoming Economist: No Way To Know When Uptick Will Come
A senior state economist says the latest numbers seem to show Wyoming's economy isn't getting worse these days.
But Jim Robinson says there is no way to know when it will really start to improve.
He says that while last week's Wyoming Economic Indicators report did show three of the four categories measured were down in June compared to a year earlier, the declines were relatively small and point toward an economy that has mostly "bottomed out."
But while things aren't getting much worse at this point there also isn't anything to indicate the state economy is on the verge of turning around.
Robinson says he believes the state has hit the bottom of the economic cycle, but he adds it could stay here for six months or a year.
The one bright spot in the report was tourism, with visits to Wyoming's national parks showing a big increase.
But Wyoming's economy is strongly tied to the energy industry, and despite some minor fluctuations over recent months in both oil and natural gas prices, so far there hasn't been the kind of price increase that would jump-start Wyoming's economy.
The coal industry meanwhile faces a murky future, with federal environmental policies tending to discourage it's use.
Efforts to export Wyoming coal to Asia have so far been hindered by the lack of an export terminal on the west coast.
A ruling by an Oregon judge saying that state can prohibit the proposed Coyote Island Coal Terminal from being built is the latest setback in efforts to export the state's coal overseas.