Midwest economic survey suggests growing strength

May 1, 2012

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A recent survey of supply managers suggests growing economic strength in a nine-state region of the Plains and Midwest.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 60.0 in April, compared with 58.6 in March and 58.4 in February.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says in a report released Tuesday that heavy manufacturing continues to be propel economic growth for the region, with export-oriented manufacturers leading the way.

Survey organizers say it uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100 and that any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor. The survey of business leaders and supply managers covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Oklahoma:  The Business Conditions Index for Oklahoma rose to a very healthy 62.6 from 58.6 in March. Components of the leading economic indicator for April were new orders at 59.3, production or sales at 53.8, delivery lead time at 83.4, inventories at 54.0, and employment at 63.0. “Second only to North Dakota, Oklahoma’s growth continues uninterrupted and very positive.  Our survey indicates no change to that growth in the months ahead.  Despite healthy economic activity, firms in the state are not adding to the hourly work-week of current employees.  Instead, firms are adding new workers.  Durable goods producers especially those linked to energy and international markets, such as metal manufacturers, are experiencing solid growth,” said Goss.