The Chamber’s 2016 Greater Oklahoma City Economic Forecast confirms what all of us already realize: The price of oil impacts the Oklahoma City economy. It would be easy to compare our current scenario with the oil boom and bust of the 1980s, but doing so would ignore the fact that Oklahoma City is a different place than it was three decades ago.
We cannot ignore the intentional improvements that we have made in the Oklahoma City economy over the last 30 years. We have invested in our infrastructure and in our public facilities. We have improved our quality of life. We have diversified our economy. And we are seeing the fruits of our labor.
The successes of 2015 include healthy growth in our bioscience and aerospace sectors, and we expect that growth to continue. We have also seen strong growth in our convention and visitors industry, which you can read more about in this edition of The POINT! This growth, despite the fluctuation of the energy industry, is an indicator that our economy is better positioned to weather the storms of the market than it has been in the past. Any outlook you have for Oklahoma City’s performance in 2016 must take into account our momentum.
Another important factor to consider is what truly sets our community apart: our people. We are resilient in the face of change, creative in the wake of challenges and able to persevere no matter the situation. Oklahoma City’s renaissance will guide us into the future, but it is the character of its people that will fan the flames of our success.