Wyoming Economist Calls New Report ‘Mostly Good News’
A Senior Wyoming Economist says a new state report which came out Dec. 1 is ''mostly good news.''
Jim Robinson says the ''Wyoming Insight'' report for November shows state sales tax collections are up by 15.6 percent for Fiscal Year 2018 compared to FY 2017. The fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.
Robinson says Sublette, Laramie, and Sweetwater counties led the way. But even Natrona County, which has been struggling economically for quite some time because of the downturn in the energy industry, is showing an 11 percent increase in sales tax collections.
Robinson says sales tax collections are considered one of the best measurements of economic growth because they are levied on business transactions. He says that while it's important to remember comparisons to this time last year are being measured against a time when the state economy was in very bad shape, the increases show that things are headed in the right direction.
Another positive in the report was the increase in both oil and natural gas prices between October and November went up between October and November. Average prices for West Texas crude oil increased from $51.56 per barrel in October to $56.57 per barrel last month.
The November 2017 price per barrel was also up by $11 compared to November 2016.
Applications to drill for oil in Wyoming (which are measured by the calendar year rather than the fiscal year) were at 7,565 through the end of October 2017 compared to 5.682 through the same time last year.