Business conditions in a nine-state area that includes Kansas and Missouri cooled in July largely because of a continued slump in the agriculture and energy sectors, according to a new report released Monday.
A monthly economic index monitored by Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., declined to 50.6 in July from 53 in June, landing barely in positive territory. An index greater than 50 is considered growth positive over the next three to six months.
The regional index, based on a survey of business supply managers, pointed to weak growth through the third quarter and into the final months of this year. The results mirrored a national survey also released Monday.
“Businesses tied to agriculture and energy continue to report pullbacks in economic activity, and this is spilling over into the broader regional economy,” said Ernie Goss, director of Creighton’s economic forecasting group.
The report also noted that hiring remains weak in the region, with job gains in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and South Dakota offset by job losses in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and Oklahoma.
In Kansas, the survey said business conditions slipped to a growth-neutral reading of 50 in July from 50.1 the previous months. Missouri’s ranking was weaker, falling to 49.4 in July from June’s 50.1.