“Slow and steady” was the motto for most of Alaska’s banks and credit unions in the third quarter. Total assets grew 3 percent combined at five of the major state banks for the quarter. Similar asset growth was 5.9 percent year-over-year.
It’s a seeming paradox: Oil prices are still sliding as North Slope crude closed at about $55 per barrel Jan. 6, but this year’s winter construction season is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever. Industry employment, the most reliable indicator of activity, set new records in October and November, according to data from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The collapse of oil prices sent shock waves through state government and Alaska’s business community late in the year. Prices dropped from $110 per barrel in July to about $56 per barrel in mid-December. State revenues, about 90 percent dependent on oil taxes and royalties, are now estimated to be about half of what was predicted earlier, about $2.5 billion in unrestricted general fund revenue, down from about $5 billion.
Other than changing the view to the north, the Knik Arm Crossing would not impact the look of Anchorage much at all, even in the long term, according to the latest study of the proposed bridge released Dec. 8.