Economic conditions in a nine-state region that includes Kansas and Missouri strengthened in June, although problems in the energy industry are expected to hurt growth in the months ahead, according to a survey released Wednesday.
The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 53 last month from 50.4 in May. Neutral growth is 50, and a figure greater than 50 indicates an expanding economy over the next three to six months.
The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group uses the same methodology as a national survey of supply managers and business leaders. The index measures employment, wholesale prices, confidence, business inventories and other indicators.
“The regional index, much like the national reading, is pointing to slow growth through the third quarter” of 2015, said Ernie Goss, director of Creighton’s economic forecasting group.
Goss said weak business conditions for firms tied to energy are restraining the overall economy, particularly in Oklahoma and North Dakota.
An index of Kansas business conditions for June inched up to 50.1 from May’s 49.7.
“Both durable and nondurable goods manufacturers in the state are facing weak but slightly positive economic prospects,” Goss said. “Transportation equipment manufacturers and food processors are growing, but at a snail’s pace.”
In Missouri, the June overall index dropped to 50.1 from 50.7 in May. Durable goods manufacturers, including vehicle producers and machinery manufacturers, reported stronger growth for June.
“However, much of this growth was offset by weaker business conditions among nondurable goods manufacturers, such as food processors in the state,” Goss said.
Other states surveyed were Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Arkansas and North Dakota.