Report: Midwest Economic Index Inched Up in August

OMAHA, Neb. — A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains states rose slightly in August, suggesting growth is ahead.

A survey report issued Tuesday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index inched up to 57.2 last month from 57.0 in July. The index had reached a three-year high of 60.6 in June.

Looking six months ahead, the business confidence portion of the overall index climbed to 60.4 from 60.0 in July. It had hit 63.6 in June.

The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers at Creighton University say any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

For Arkansas, the overall index sank to 45.6 in August from 53.1 in July. Components of the index were:

  • new orders at 41.4
  • production or sales at 41.4
  • delivery lead time at 60.1
  • inventories at 40.5
  • employment at 44.6

"Economic growth will slow for the second half of 2014 for the state, based on our surveys," Goss said.

Since the national recovery began in July 2009, the manufacturing sector in Arkansas has lost 6,000 more jobs for an additional 3.7 percent loss, he said.

"However, for 2014, the state has begun to recover a share of the durable-goods manufacturing jobs that were lost," Goss said.

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