The outlooks of purchasing managers at manufacturing businesses in nine Midwestern states darkened further in December, according to surveys Creighton University conducted.
An index produced from the surveys fell to 39.6 from 40.7 in November. Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction in economic activity.
“While this weakness has yet, to any large degree, to spill over into the broader economy in most states in the region, I expect to see this in the first quarter of 2016,” said Ernie Goss, director of the university’s economic forecasting group.
Goss cited the impact of a higher international value for the U.S. dollar, which makes U.S.-made goods more expensive overseas.
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Similarly, a national index of manufacturing companies’ purchasing managers showed a weak 48.2 reading for December, according to the Institute for Supply Management that produces the national report.
For the national report, it was the second month in a row below 50. The regional report has been below 50 for five months.
A separate index that Creighton produces for Missouri fell to 38.9 in December from 41.9 in November. Its Kansas index fell to 41.7 from 42.6 in November.
The reports contradict a stronger outlook based on surveys of companies’ credit managers conducted by the National Association of Credit Management. Its survey includes non-manufacturing companies.