OMAHA – A second straight monthly survey of nine Midwest and Plains states shows signs that the regional economy is slowing down, according to a report issued Thursday. But Minnesota bucked the trend with solid growth.
The overall Mid-American Business Conditions Index dropped to 47.7 last month, compared with 49.6 in August, the report said.
“The strong U.S. dollar and global economic weakness are having a negative impact on manufacturers and businesses linked to manufacturing in the region,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey. He also said weak crop prices and energy prices have harmed the regional economy.
In Minnesota, the overall index climbed to a regional high of 53.0 from 51.9 in August.
“Durable-goods producers, including metal manufacturers and computer and electronic equipment producers, are experiencing upturns in economic activity,” Goss said of Minnesota. “Survey results over the past several months point to solid but not spectacular economic growth for the rest of 2015.”
Across the region, economic optimism for the next six months, as reflected by September business confidence index, fell to 47.7 from 52.4 in July.
Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth. A score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.