Midwest Economic Survey Suggests Further Slowdown

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Little economic growth is expected over the next several months in nine Midwest and Plains states because problems in the global economy are slowing business in the region, according to a new survey released Tuesday.

The region’s economy still appears much healthier than it did during the recession of 2008 and 2009, but the debt concerns in Europe and sluggish pace of the nation’s economy are causing a slowdown, Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said.

The overall index in the survey of business leaders and supply managers slipped to a neutral score of 50 in December from 52.6 in November. The survey uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Goss says that any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.

Even though the current economic conditions appear weak, business leaders are optimistic about the future. The survey’s confidence index jumped to 59.2 in December from November’s 49.1, suggesting business will pick up starting six months from now.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

The outlook for jobs appears flat across the region with the employment index remaining unchanged at 49.5 in December.

“Our surveys over the last five months indicate that job growth in the region has slowed significantly,” Goss said.

Inflation will likely continue to be a concern. The prices-paid index, which tracks the cost of raw materials and supplies, rose in December to 62.4 from November’s 60.9.

Exports were a bright spot in the report. The export order index grew to 56.3 in December from 52.1 the previous month.

The import index slipped to 48 from November’s 49.5.

The inventory index dropped to 46.7 in December from November’s 52.9, so it doesn’t appear that businesses added to their inventories last month.

The other components of December’s overall index were:

— New orders increased to 52.3 from November’s 52.

— Production or sales declined to 48.4 from November’s 52.4.

— And delivery lead time decreased in December to 53.3 from November’s 56.5.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • awheelbarrowfullofmoneyforaloafofbread

    Bernanke…Gietner…arsonists…and congress keeps on a givin’ them the matches

  • Thanks for the facts AP

    Economic survey “suggests further slowdown”? Based on what? Their own survey only “suggests” this yet they do not feel the need to report the margin of error. Hmmmmm. This is based upon one month of Republican data that is highly suspect to begin with. Oh well.

  • The Analyst

    As long as ObamaCare is lurking, there will be no recovery.

    • Jim

      The healthcare reform law, which hasn’t gone into effect yet, has nothing to do with today’s economic recovery or the lack thereof. The law is not perfect, but at least it’s a start. Out of control healthcare costs are the biggest threat to economic stability in this country, and the Democrats seem to be the only party willing to take on the problem. The Republicans have no solution.

      • Inthegrometagain

        Yea … Just wait until it does go into effect….Then you will really see an economic down turn!!!

        • Jim

          I doubt it. The bill does a lot to reduce costs. As I wrote, the real danger to our economy is out of control healthcare costs, and this bill is the only attempt at a solution I’ve seen come out of Washington. It might not work, but it’s better than the Republican “solution” of hoping the problem goes away.

          • mn123456

            I agree Jim. I have a lifetime disease, had it since I was a child. I had a very good job making what some might think a decent living before I lost my job and even while working could barely keep my head above water due to healthcare costs.

            Unless you are in that “boat” most people have no idea and do not understand. As long as it does not affect them it is wrong.

            Maybe some of those companies that aren’t hiring and making profits and even record profits should give some of that 7.7 trillion dollars they got while under a Republican president’s watch?

            • karen

              doesn’t matter, it and obama are gone this year. courts will kill obamacare and the people will oust obama

  • tom tom

    Odd. So many end of year reports showed a positive upturn across the board for 2012. Just goes to show that predicting the future is, as always, no more accurate than predicting weather more than a few days out.

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