New Economic Report Offers Good News For Wyoming
Senior State Economist Jim Robinson says the latest report on Wyoming's economy is mostly good news.
The ''Wyoming Insights" report issued on Monday shows the price of crude oil continues to climb, averaging $66.10 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude in April, compared to an average price of $62.76 per barrel in March. Year-to-date applications to drill for oil in Wyoming are showing a big increase, with 3,088 through the end of March compared to 2,357 at the same time in 2017.
State sales tax collections are also showing a big increase over last year, with an 18.8 percent increase in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to the same time in Fiscal Year 2017 (the fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30).
Robinson says the especially encouraging thing about the latest sales tax collection figures is that every industry in the state except for the information sector is showing an increase. He says that indicates that while the all-important mining sector is probably having a "ripple effect" on some other industries, such as transportation, non-mining related industries are also improving on their own.
But the news in the new report was not all positive. Natural gas prices continued to lag in April, averaging $2.05 per million British thermal unit [MMBtu], down from $2.14 in March of 2018 and $2.76 in April of 2017.
But overall, Robinson says the report offers more good news than bad for Wyoming's economy.