Sales tax comes up short, use tax surges, economic indicators a "mixed bag"
Recent local economic indicators paint an uncertain picture for Oklahoma City but nothing to lose sleep over.
That's one takeaway from the August sales tax figures.
Sales tax growth slowed for the second consecutive month in August, up 1% from the same month last year.
But, driven by online sales, use tax is up 20.5% through the first two months of the fiscal year.
Oklahoma City Budget Director Doug Dowler says it could be that the shift to online shopping "is a bigger trend than we had anticipated."
Oklahoma City received $40.6 million in sales tax this month for sales the last two weeks of June and first two weeks of July.
Growth of 1% fell short of projections for 3.2% growth for the month, and general fund sales tax revenue is running around $775,000 below target.
On the opposite side of the ledger, use tax is $1.7 million above target.
Budget managers have several key areas they watch for signs of where the economy is headed.
The number of active oil and gas rigs in the state is down (though monthly oil production has been setting records).
Passenger traffic at Will Rogers World Airport, average weekly earnings, and the number of people employed in the metro all are up compared to last year.
Dowler said budget managers are hopeful for higher sales tax growth in the coming months.
Projections are for 2.3% growth for the year.
"So we have a mixed bag of news but mostly positive for Oklahoma City," he said.