According to statistics presented by Chad Wilkerson, Branch Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the outlook for Oklahoma is much brighter than many other states throughout the U. S.
Chad Wilkerson and Pamela Gutel, (Public Affairs Director) were the guests of Rotarian of the Day, Joe Kennedy at Thursday’s Rotary meeting. Both are employed at the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The overall purposes of the Federal Reserve System are to promote national financial stability, maximum sustainable economic growth and low and stable inflation.
“Not easy to do,” Wilkerson began, “especially at the same time.”
With graphs and charts in hand, Wilkerson stated that according to statistics, the nation’s overall economic growth is below average, inflation is on the rise and forecasts generally call for a sluggish outlook in the second half of 2008.
“It isn’t a particularly bright story,” Wilkerson admitted, pointing to the rate of inflation, “but it can’t be said the United States is in a recession” – at least not yet.
Wilkerson confirmed that recession becomes a concern when food and energy prices start affecting other areas, “and we are starting to see some of that.”
“The good news is, Oklahoma’s economic growth remains solid,” Wilkerson continued.
He pointed out one of the major reasons that Oklahoma is in better shape than other states – especially those on the coasts. “Housing,” Wilkerson said, “is in much better shape in Oklahoma than in the nation.”
“Foreclosure rates have remained relatively stable,” he continued. “If you look at the chart, there is a huge difference between those in the U.S. vs. those in Oklahoma.”
Other positives include increase in drilling activity, crop prices have eased but still remain high, our unemployment rate remains lower than the nation and the 2009 job growth forecast for Oklahoma still looks promising.
“Overall, it is good to be in Oklahoma,” Wilkerson concluded.
For more information about the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, go to www.kc.frb.org/OklahomaCity/