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Healthy Oklahoma Christmas shopping season boosts state's revenues

Oklahoma's economy continued to grow in December, but at a slower pace, state treasurer says.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: January 3, 2013

Oklahoma's economy, boosted by a healthy Christmas shopping season, continued to grow in 2012 but at a slower pace, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Thursday.

Gross receipts for December were 1.5 percent higher than the same month a year ago and collections for the year surpassed the previous year by 3.8 percent, he said. Gross receipts in 2011 had a growth rate of 9.6 percent, with December of last year posting 11.1 percent growth.

Miller said December was the eighth time in 2012 that gross collections exceeded those of the same month a year ago. Collections dipped slightly below prior year collections in the other four months. Total revenue collections are considered a reflection of the performance of the state's economy.

Sales tax collections indicate a healthy Christmas shopping season in Oklahoma, Miller said. December sales tax collections, reflecting sales between mid-November, which includes Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas season, and mid-December, were $20.45 million, or 5.9 percent higher than the 2011 holiday shopping season. Oklahoma showed a similar growth rate in sales tax collections sales during the same period in 2011.

Twelve-month gross revenue collections through December were $11.1 billion, or more than $1.7 billion higher than a 12-month period that included February 2010, when the state suffered its lowest revenue as a result of the 2008 recession. Since then, Oklahoma has recovered almost 90 percent of the 12-month revenue collections that peaked in December 2008 at $11.3 billion.

Miller said Oklahoma's economy should continue to fare well. The Mid-America Business Conditions Index anticipates the state's economy will continue to grow this year; it shows Oklahoma has among the best performing economies in the nine-state region, including in job creation during 2012 and in anticipated overall growth this year.

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