Report: Midwest Business Conditions Index Slipped in January

OMAHA, Neb. — A report says a business conditions index for nine Midwest and Plains states slipped over the past month but still pointed to continuing improvement in regional economic conditions.

The report released Thursday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped to 57.3 in January from 59.0 in December. The November figure was 57.2.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says manufacturing and other business sectors in the region are adding jobs at a solid pace.

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

The January overall index for Arkansas plunged to 50.0 from December's 56.8. Components of the index were new orders at 58.5, production or sales at 60.1, delivery lead time at 35.9, inventories at 47.7 and employment at 47.8.

"Nondurable manufacturing in the state is growing at very strong pace, while Arkansas durable-goods producers are treading water," Goss said.

(All contents © copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.)