Survey Says Midwest Economy Continues to Lag

Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index for a nine-state region stretching from Arkansas to North Dakota, declined for the month of October.

The overall index came in at 43.8—down from 45.5 in September and the fourth straight month it has been below the “growth neutral” level of 50.0

“Even with oil prices hovering around $50 per barrel for the month, weakness among manufacturers linked to agriculture and energy continue to weigh on regional economic conditions. Due to the heavy dependence of the region on these two sectors, I expect the regional economy to continue to underperform the national economy.” said Ernie Goss, Ph.D., director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group.

The index, based on a survey of supply managers in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, also reported steep declines in inventories and economic confidence looking forward.

On the individual state level, Kansas had an overall index score of 43.7 (down from 43.9 in September), and Missouri had an overall score of 41.6 (down from 47.3 in September).