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Oklahoma's economy continues to do well, state treasurer says

Low natural gas prices still are a cause for concern, but overall Oklahoma's economy reflects health and resilience, he says.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: May 3, 2012

The state's total revenue collections resumed their upward swing last month despite lower than projected natural gas prices, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday

“Oklahoma's economy is reflecting health and resilience in spite of the low price environment for natural gas,” Miller said.

Total revenue collections, a reflection of the performance of the state's economy, came in during April at $1.16 billion, up by almost $83 million, or 7.7 percent, compared with the same month a year ago, he said.

All major sources of revenue saw growth over the previous year except for gross production taxes on oil and natural gas, which fell by more than 20 percent, he said.

Collections from gross production taxes on oil and natural gas were less than the same time a year ago for a fifth consecutive month, and for the sixth time in seven months, he said.

During that time the percentage of gross production taxes generated by natural gas production has steadily decreased as prices have fallen.

In October, 51 percent of gross production collections came from gas extraction; by March, the amount had fallen to 34 percent.

Collections are up

Miller said the state's overall economy is doing well.

Since hitting bottom in revenue collections from the recession in February 2010, 12-month collections between May 2011 and April have increased by almost $1.6 billion and are now only $336 million below the peak in December 2008.

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