Economic Growth Projections Looking Good For Midwest 02 Oct 17

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of business leaders suggests economic conditions are still improving for nine Midwest and Plains states.

A report released Monday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 58.2 in September from 57.5 in August and 56.1 in July. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says international sales, strong profit growth and low interest rates boosted the economic outlook among supply managers in the nine-state region.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor. A score below that suggests decline.

The survey was started in 1931 as a means of gauging attitudes by the membership of the Institute For Supply Management towards business conditions.

Select state-by-state results are as follows.

Iowa: The state’s overall index rose to 60.7 in September from 57.7 in August. Components of the index were new orders at 63.2, production or sales at 70.6, delivery lead time at 60.0, employment at 54.3 and inventories at 55.4. “Over the past 12 months, Iowa increased manufacturing employment by only 0.7 percent, or approximately 1,400 manufacturing jobs. Gains were experienced almost equally by durable-goods producers and nondurable-goods manufacturers,” Goss said.

Minnesota: The state’s overall index declined to a still healthy 59.4 from August’s 61.8. Components of the overall September index were new orders at 64.3, production or sales at 68.6, delivery lead time at 57.9, inventories at 53.7 and employment at 52.5. “Over the past 12 months, Minnesota increased manufacturing employment by 1 percent, or approximately 3,100 manufacturing jobs. Most of the gains were recorded by nondurable-goods producers,” he said.

North Dakota: North Dakota’s overall index declined to 63.9 from August’s 69.1. Components of the overall index in September were new orders at 70.4, production or sales at 74.3, delivery lead time at 58.5, employment at 57.5 and inventories at 58.8. “Over the past 12 months, North Dakota experienced a 2.8 percent decline in manufacturing employment, or approximately 700 manufacturing jobs. However, additions by the state’s large energy sector more than offset manufacturing losses,” said Goss.

South Dakota: The state’s overall index improved slightly, hitting 46.6 last month, compared with 45.5 in August. Components of the overall index were new orders at 50.4, production or sales at 55.7, delivery lead time at 43.8, inventories at 42.1 and employment at 41.2. “Over the past 12 months, South Dakota experienced a decline in manufacturing employment of 1 percent, or approximately 400 manufacturing jobs. Almost all of the loss was recorded by the state’s durable-goods manufacturing sector,” Goss said.