August 1, 2014

Purchasing and credit managers point to economic health ahead

Recent surveys of companies’ purchasing and credit managers in the region and nation all point toward a favorable economy ahead. The optimism includes readings for Missouri and Kansas.

Three economic surveys point to a healthy economy ahead in the region and nation.

Friday’s reports from surveys of companies’ purchasing managers in manufacturing showed outlooks favor continued expansion. And Thursday’s report based on surveys of companies’ credit managers similarly forecasts improvement.

In the Midwest, an economic index tied to a purchasing manager survey dipped to 57.0 in July from a more robust 60.6 level in June. The dip indicates a slowing in growth, but any reading above 50 signals expansion.

A separate index for Kansas slipped to 57.2 from 59.4 in July and in Missouri the index faded slightly to 59.0 from June’s 59.3.

“Even so, indices over the past several months are pointing to solid economic gains over the next three to six months for the region,” said the report from Creighton University, which conducts the survey over nine Midwestern states including Kansas and Missouri.

The national purchasing managers index from the Institute for Supply Management showed an increase in expansion. Its index grew to 57.1 in July from 55.3 in June.

Credit managers nationally also gave a thumbs up to expansion in surveys conducted by the National Association of Credit Management. Its July index grew a bit to 56.8 from 56.1 in June.

“The overall sense is that real progress in economic recovery is being made and the future looks brighter,” said Chris Kuehl, the association’s economist.

Kuehl pointed out that similar readings in other economic data early this year were knocked down and the economy seems to have regained that lost ground.

With the credit manager’s index joining “this parade,” Kuehl said, the outlook brightens because it often is a good predictor of coming economic activity.

To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @mdkcstar.

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