Wyoming Economic Report Has Good And Bad News
The latest report on Wyoming's economy shows some hopeful signs for the energy industry as well as bad news about sales tax collections.
Senior State Economist Jim Robinson says the bad news is that state sales tax collections are down by almost 16 percent for the first five months of Fiscal Year 2017 compared to the same time in FY 2016.
Campbell County sales tax collections are down by a whopping $16.4 million over that period compared to the year before, while Natrona and Sublette counties are each down by $5.9 million using the same comparison.
Among the state's 23 counties, only Teton and Washakie counties show an increase in collections for the first five months of FY 2017 compared to the same time a year ago.
But Robinson says there is good news in terms of oil and natural gas prices in the latest report, with both showing improvement in December. He says natural gas prices at the Opal hub in December averaged $3.50 per million British thermal units, compared to an average of $2.30 per MMBtu the month before.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices averaged $51.59 per barrel in December for West Texas intermediate crude, compared to an average price of $45.57 in November.
The December crude oil average price in December was up by $14.36 per barrel when compared to the average December 2015 price.