An Oklahoma finance executive told Grove Rotary Wednesday that, in his opinion, the economy is beginning to rebound.
“My belief is that we have seen the bottom of the market,” BOSC, Inc. Vice President and Regional Manager Michael Thompson told Rotarians at a regular lunchtime meeting. BOSC, Inc. is a subsidiary of Bank of Oklahoma.
Thompson said the Federal Reserve has taken extraordinary measures to put the stalled U.S. economy back into motion and that the market is now starting to show signs of improvement.
Thompson predicted that the economy will remain “in or near recession” until the second half of 2009 when governmental stimulus measures should begin to take effect.
“Ultimately it will pass,” Thompson said.
“It will take patience, persistence, and time,” he added, quoting President Obama.
Thompson said that household wealth in the country has fallen $9 trillion due to a trend that lasted from 1982-2007, in which consumers spent money rather than saved it.
“The consumer mindset is showing signs of changing to saving rather than spending,” he said.
He noted that, while Oklahoma is not immune to recession, it is somewhat insulated from the worst of it.
“The erosion in home equity values is more negative on the coasts. The home values in Oklahoma are better,” he said, adding that Oklahoma is typically behind coastal trends.
Thompson concluded that economic recovery in Oklahoma would depend upon small businesses.
He said that, according to statistics, Oklahoma has 70,973 small businesses and that they employ 97.4 percent of the workforce.
“Small business is the key,” he said.