OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey report suggests economic conditions in nine Midwest and Plains states took a leap forward last month.

The report released Tuesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index jumped to 61.1 in August, compared with 57.0 in July. It’s the 21st straight month that the index remained above growth neutral 50.0.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the region’s manufacturing growth of 3.1 percent over the past 12 months exceeds the U.S. growth rate of 2.6 percent.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline.

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

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