Manufacturing activity is weakening, according to purchasing managers of companies in nine Midwestern states, including Missouri and Kansas.
Creighton University surveys the purchasing managers monthly and generates an index based on their outlooks for sales, employment, prices and other factors.
The index, which was released Monday, fell to 45.5 in September, its third consecutive month below 50 and a sign that manufacturing activity is weakening. In August, the index was at 47.8.
“Weakness among manufacturers linked to agriculture and energy continue to weigh on regional economic conditions. Due to the heavy dependence of the region on these two sectors, I will expect to see the regional economy to continue to under perform the national economy,” Creighton economist Ernie Goss wrote of the results.
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Goss said manufacturing jobs already have fallen behind employment in service jobs and that the gap is widening.
A national survey of purchasing managers rose in September to a favorable 51.5 from 49.4 in August. Its move above neutral 50 returned the Institute of Supply Management report to show growth in manufacturing activity.
National activity also fared better in a survey of companies’ credit managers that showed continued economic growth.
Creighton’s survey included separate index scores in Missouri and Kansas. In Missouri, the index fell to 47.3 from 48.5 in August. In Kansas, the index fell to 43.9 from 47.6 in August.