Economy Grows at Healthy Pace Across Midwest, Plains


Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the monthly survey. (Creighton University)
By 
The Associated Press

The economy keeps operating at a healthy pace in nine Midwest and Plains states, but supply delays and shortages of workers are limiting growth in the region, according to a monthly survey of business leaders.

The overall economic index for the region slipped to 68.9 in August from July’s surging 73.1, but it still indicates strong growth. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy.

“The region is adding manufacturing business activity at a healthy pace, and that regional growth will remain positive, but somewhat slower. Supply chain bottlenecks and labor shortages remain obstacles to growth,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the monthly survey.

Businesses continue to report strong job growth although the hiring index slipped a bit in August to 64.6 from July’s high of 67.2. Businesses say they are having trouble finding and hiring new workers.

Wholesale prices continue to remain high with that index registering 95 in August, down slightly from July’s record 98.7.

So business leaders aren’t exceptionally confident about the next six months. The confidence index slipped to 53.5 in August from July’s 53.6.

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

Nebraska’s overall index for August dropped to 68.6 from 70.4 in July. Components of the index in Nebraska were: new orders at 74.7, production or sales at 63.4, delivery lead time at 85.4, inventories at 57.3, and employment at 62.3.

“Both durable and nondurable goods manufacturers in the state are expanding at a solid pace with food processors leading the way,” Goss said.

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