Regional economy continues to improve in Midwest, Plains states, says monthly survey

Business leaders in nine Midwest and Plains states indicated in a monthly survey that the region’s economy continued to improve going into the new year, with confidence in the economy over the next six months soaring, according to 2021’s final report for December 2021.
The overall index for December of the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions grew to 64.6 from November’s 60.2. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession.
December’s survey results indicate growth in manufacturing in the region and that the region’s economic growth will remain solid, said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the monthly survey.
“In terms of supply chain disruptions and bottlenecks for the first half of 2022, approximately one-third of supply managers expect delays to worsen, with only 1 in 6 anticipating improvements,” Goss said.
About half of supply managers expect the omicron variant of COVID-19 to slow deliveries, while more than 42% anticipate little or no impact on supply deliveries, he said.
The survey’s business confidence index, which looks ahead six months, rocketed from a weak 46.2 in November to 64.0 in December.
The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The Institute for Supply Management, formerly the Purchasing Management Association, began formally surveying its membership in 1931 to gauge business conditions.
The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group uses the same methodology as the national survey to consult supply managers and business leaders. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss oversees the report.
The overall index ranges between 0 and 100. Growth neutral is 50, and a figure greater than 50 indicates growth in that factor over the next three to six months. A figure below 50 indicates decline.
In Iowa, the overall index rose to 60.6 from 59.4 in November. Components of the overall December index were: new orders at 66.9, production, or sales, at 53.1, delivery lead time at 74.2, employment at 57.6, and inventories at 51.2. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Iowa durable goods manufacturing experienced much stronger growth than nondurable goods producers in the state. Average hourly wages advanced by only 0.8% during this same period, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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