A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern states, including Kansas and Missouri, has dipped again.
A survey report issued Monday said the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index fell in November to 51.3 from 51.8 in October. September’s figure was 54.3. According to survey organizer Creighton University, any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline.
After rising in June to its highest level in more than three years, the overall reading has hovered in a range pointing to much slower growth for the overall regional economy over the next three to six months.
“A stronger U.S. dollar, plentiful supplies and weak global demand have pushed agriculture and energy prices lower,” said Ernie Goss, director of Creighton’s economic forecasting group. “While I still expect positive growth, it will be down” compared with year-earlier levels.
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The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. In addition to Kansas and Missouri, the survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Creighton also reports state-by-state survey results. In Kansas, business conditions dipped slightly to 62.2 in November from 62.4 in October.
Goss raised concerns about the decline of manufacturing jobs in the state. During the last recession, Kansas lost more than 21,000 manufacturing jobs.
“Since the (economic) recovery began in July 2009, the state has regained only 3,700, or 17 percent of the lost manufacturing jobs,” Goss said. “Our surveys of businesses in Kansas indicate the state’s manufacturing employment will not return to pre-recession levels until beyond 2015.”
Missouri’s condition report showed a decline to 54.9 in November from October’s 57.6. Goss also noted that Missouri has regained only 2,800 of the manufacturing jobs lost during the recession. That’s about 7 percent.
He does not foresee those jobs returning to pre-recession levels until beyond 2015.
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