The October Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Arkansas to North Dakota, climbed to a healthy reading, according to the latest monthly survey results. Creighton University was founded in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1878. The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group has conducted the monthly survey of supply managers in nine states since 1994 to produce leading economic indicators of the Mid-America economy. States included in the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The forecasting group’s overall index, referred to as the Business Conditions Index, ranges between 0 and 100. An index greater than 50 indicates an expansionary economy over the course of the next three to six months. The Business Conditions Index is a mathematical average of indices for new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time. This is the same methodology, used since 1931 by the Institute for Supply Management, formerly the National Association of Purchasing Management.
The Business Conditions Index (overall index) rose to 58.2 from August’s 57.5. This is the 10th straight month the index has remained above growth neutral, continuing to point to positive growth for the region over the next three to six months.
The Business Conditions Index is a mathematical average of indices for new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time.
“The overall index over the past several months indicates a healthy regional manufacturing economy, and points to solid growth for both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing for the rest of 2017,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group and the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics in the Heider College of Business.
How did the Index’s home state of Nebraska fare?
The September Business Conditions Index for Nebraska rose to 59.3 from 57.9 in August. Components of the index from the monthly survey of supply managers were new orders at 65.4, production or sales at 64.2, delivery lead time at 59.0, inventories at 54.6, and employment at 53.4. “Over the past 12 months, Nebraska increased manufacturing employment by only 0.8 percent, or approximately 800 jobs manufacturing jobs. Losses for durable goods producers were more than offset by gains for nondurable goods manufacturers,” said Goss.