A new report on Wyoming's economy includes some hopeful signs, according to a senior State Economist.

Jim Robinson says the September ''Wyoming Insight'' report shows that after two months of fiscal year 2018, state sales and use tax collections are up by 13.8 percent compared to the same time in fiscal year 2017 (the fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30).

Sweetwater, Sublette, and Laramie counties were doing especially well, but most areas of the state are showing an uptick, with Natrona County showing a $1.4 million increase compared to the same time in fiscal year 2017. Robinson says sales and use tax collections are considered one of the best measurements of overall economic health because they are collected on business transactions.

More good news was found in the steady improvement of natural gas and especially oil prices through the month of September. Robinson says Year-to-date applications to drill for oil in the state reached 5.494 by the end of August, compared to 4,294 at the same time in 2016.

Meanwhile, oil and gas jobs numbered 11,700 in August, an increase of 1,900 compared to one year earlier. He also said the statewide rig count has held at 26 for quite some time, which he says shows some much-needed stability in the state energy industry.

Robinson says overall the report offers some hope for cautious optimism going forward. He does warn, however, that he doesn't expect much of a price increase for crude oil for the next couple of months or so.

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