OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains States dropped in September, suggesting slowing economic growth in the months ahead. A survey report issued Wednesday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped nearly three percentage points to 54.3, from 57.2 the previous month. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says a drop in grain prices over the past year has led to a pullback in economic activity for the heavily agrarian region.
In Iowa: The overall index for August fell to a tepid 51.5, from 58.3 in August. It was the third consecutive month the reading has declined. Components of the index were new orders at 48.3, production or sales at 45.1, delivery lead time at 62.4, employment at 52.2, and inventories at 49.5. “Iowa’s manufacturing sector, both durable and nondurable goods producers, are experiencing much slower growth than recorded earlier in the year,” Goss said. “Weaker grain prices are spilling over into the broader state economy.” Average weekly wages have expanded by 3.1 percent in the last year, Goss said.
The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline.
The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.