Survey suggests little or no Midwest economic growth in view

 

Associated Press

via KTIC (NE) - September 4, 2019

 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An August survey of business supply managers suggested slow or no economic growth over the next several months in nine Midwest and Plains states, in part because of trade skirmishes, a report said Tuesday.

 

The Mid-America Business Conditions index dropped below growth neutral in August to hit 49.3, compared with 52.0 in July. The index had remained above growth neutral for 32 straight months, the report said.

 

“Weakness in the region’s farm and manufacturing sectors produced by tariffs and a global economic slowdown pulled regional growth below that of the nation,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey. “Based on our manufacturing survey over the past several months, I expect overall growth to slow and potentially move into negative territory in the months ahead.”

 

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

 

The August employment index plummeted to 45.1, its lowest level in 34 months, from 56.3 in July.

 

“For the last 12 months, Mid-America employment growth has been 0.7%, compared to a much higher 1.5% for the U.S.,” Goss said. “This month, as in July, approximately 40% of supply managers (who responded) reported that the shortage of qualified workers was the greatest economic challenge for their company for the next 12 months.”

 

The regional trade numbers were down again...

 

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