Signs of that growth lie in sharp year-over-year increases in general spending and a growth in auto sales after a months-long cool down, reported
Ingham looks at a number of factors for the metro area, including building permits, hotel and motel tax receipts and a rig count. Overall, May saw a 3.5 percent growth in the
"If the desire in 2014 was not necessarily an economic slowdown but let's say a flattening of the growth rate -- if that were your hope,
Ingham was one of those who predicted this year would see oil prices soften, resulting in an
West Texas Intermediate crude prices were at about
"There's still so much going on with
"The revenue from oil and gas production on the rise is put to work in a significant fashion locally, because after payrolls it goes into investments in future drilling, it goes to service companies, it goes to make purchases, and those things trickle down in the economy," Ingham said.
He attributed growth in general spending and auto sales to that.
Ingham considers inflation-adjusted taxable spending a primary local economic indicator. May sales tax receipts were 14.7 percent more than the
Auto sales in May grew 8 percent from the same period of 2013. But February, March and April figures all showed year-over-year declines. Two years ago, growth in auto spending was "stratospheric," Ingham said, but has flattened since then even though sales volumes remain "extraordinarily high."
Construction numbers so far in 2014 trend lower than the high numbers of 2013, with a building permit in May about 30 percent lesser than the same month last year. Through the first five months of this year, construction was down about 36 percent.
"To me, the only thing that's slower is the ability to build fast," she said.
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