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Business Conditions Index Slips but Still Shows Good Signs

Business Conditions Index Slips but Still Shows Good Signs

December 01, 2017 06:19 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Economists say a business conditions index for nine Midwest and Plains states dropped over the past month but also say it still suggests that regional economic conditions continue to improve.

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A report released Friday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index slipped to 57.2 in November from 58.8 in October. The September figure was 58.2 in September.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the manufacturing sector has reported consistent growth over the past several months.

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.


Here are the state-by-state results for November:

Arkansas: The November overall index for Arkansas fell to 51.9 from October's 55.4. Components of the index were new orders at 61.3, production or sales at 58.8, delivery lead time at 36.7, inventories at 51.4 and employment at 51.3. Arkansas increased manufacturing employment by 3.7 percent over the past 12 months, the report said. The state experienced slight job gains for durable-goods producers but significant additions for nondurable-goods manufacturers, Goss said.

Iowa: The state's overall index inched up to 55.2 last month from 55.0 in October. Index components were new orders at 58.4, production or sales at 58.8, delivery lead time at 53.3, employment at 54.3 and inventories at 51.4. Iowa increased manufacturing employment by 2.8 percent over the past 12 months, the report said. "Nondurable-goods producers, including animal slaughtering, expanded, while durable-goods manufacturers, including machinery manufacturers, contracted slightly," he said.

Kansas: Kansas' overall index fell to 58.0 in November, compared with 63.4 in October. Index components were new orders at 70.1, production or sales at 65.9, delivery lead time at 42.8, employment at 52.1 and inventories at 59.2. "Nondurable-goods producers expanded at a solid pace while durable-goods experienced slight losses," Goss said. Total manufacturing employment dropped 0.9 percent, the report said.

Minnesota: The state's overall index rose to 57.8 last month from 56.3 in October. Index components were new orders at 59.9, production or sales at 69.4, delivery lead time at 36.1, inventories at 58.9 and employment at 64.5. The state added 4,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 12 months, or 1.3 percent. Gains were strong for food processors and medical equipment manufacturers, Goss said.

Missouri: The overall index for Missouri jumped to 59.2 in November from 53.8 in October. Index components were new orders at 69.9, production or sales at 61.8, delivery lead time at 46.9, inventories at 62.7 and employment at 54.6. Missouri increased manufacturing employment by 2.6 percent over the past 12 months, the report said.

Nebraska: Nebraska's overall index slumped to 54.8 last month from 60.1 in October. Index components were new orders at 58.8, production or sales at 67.5, delivery lead time at 35.0, inventories at 59.9 and employment at 52.8. Nebraska increased manufacturing employment by 0.9 percent over the past 12 months, the report said. Losses for metal producers were more than offset by gains for food processors in the state, Goss said.

North Dakota: The state's overall index fell to 52.3 in November from 55.9 in October. Index components were new orders at 64.1, production or sales at 55.5, delivery lead time at 48.9, employment at 51.5 and inventories at 58.7. "After declining for much of 2016, North Dakota's mining and energy sector began to expand in the first quarter of this year," Goss said. "Surveys over the past several months indicate this expansion continues at a brisk pace, with the state's mining sector adding 3,600 jobs, or 23.4 percent, over the last 12 months."

Oklahoma: Oklahoma's overall index slipped to 60.8 last month from 63.0 in October. Index components were new orders at 70.0, production or sales at 65.9, delivery lead time at 51.4, inventories at 58.7 and employment at 57.8. "Expansions among energy-linked firms and manufacturing companies tied to energy are driving the state's economy forward at a current brisk pace," Goss said.

South Dakota: The state's overall index dipped to 55.4 in November, compared with 57.6 in October. Index components were new orders at 60.3, production or sales at 66.1, delivery lead time at 55.7, inventories at 54.7 and employment at 51.3. The state's manufacturing sector added only 100 jobs over the past 12 months, the report said - an increase of just 0.2 percent. "On the other hand, the state's mining sector is adding jobs at a solid pace," he said.


WDIO

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