- Associated Press - Friday, September 9, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An official with the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City says he sees modest improvement in the expectations for future manufacturing activity in Oklahoma.

Branch vice president and economist Chad Wilkerson says the state’s manufacturing sector has lost more than 16,000 jobs in the past 18 months, and many of those jobs were at metals and machinery plants that produce goods for the oil and gas industry, which has also struggled.

Wilkerson said a recent survey by the Kansas City Federal Reserve found oil prices need to average about $51 a barrel for businesses to be profitable and the recent rise in oil prices and a small increase in the number of drilling rigs is likely helping reduce pessimism among metals and machinery manufacturers.

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