The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


May 1, 2013

Midwest economy: April state-by-state glance

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 an expanding economy over the next three to six months.

Here are the state-by-state results for April:

Arkansas: The overall index for Arkansas rose to 56.9 in April from 53.9 in March. Components of the index were new orders at 52.8, production or sales at 62.2, delivery lead time at 53.1, inventories at 66.7 and employment at 49.8. Among the nine Mid-America states, Arkansas lags all except Missouri in terms of job performance, Goss said. “Our surveys over the last several months indicate that Arkansas will continue to add jobs, but at a pace significantly below that of other states in the region,” he said.

Iowa: For the fourth month in a row, Iowa’s overall index rose. It hit a regional high of 69.1 in April, compared with 65.5 in March. Components of the index were new orders at 77.9, production or sales at 78.0, delivery lead time at 51.0, employment at 69.1 and inventories at 69.6. “Compared to prerecession levels, Iowa is currently down only one-half of one percentage point in terms of employment. Both durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers are reporting very healthy business activity with job gains trending positively,” Goss said.  

Kansas: The Kansas overall index for April rose to 52.3 from 52.0 in March. Components of the index were new orders at 64.3, production or sales at 60.3, delivery lead time at 50.1, employment at 50.0 and inventories at 36.7. “Among the nine Mid-America states, only Arkansas and Missouri lagged Kansas in terms of job creation since the recession.” Goss said. The state’s current employment level is still down by almost 19,000 jobs. Recent growth among durable-goods manufacturers has lagged that of nondurable-goods producers,” he said.

Minnesota: For the fifth month in a row, Minnesota’s overall index remained above growth neutral. The index hit 55.7 in April, compared with 55.2 in March. Components of the index from the April survey were new orders at 57.6, production or sales at 57.4, delivery lead time at 55.7, inventories at 51.4 and employment at 56.5. “Compared to its prerecession level, Minnesota has regained all jobs lost during the recession,” Goss said. “Over the past several months, durable-goods producers are reporting healthier growth in business activity than nondurable-goods manufacturers. Our surveys over the past several months point to an expanding state economy in the months ahead, with solid improvements in business activity,” he said.

Missouri: The April Index for Missouri slipped to 52.8 from 54.9 in March. Components of the survey of supply managers in the state were new orders at 53.1, production or sales at 56.8, delivery lead time at 48.5, inventories at 47.0 and employment at 57.4. “Since the recession began in 2007, Missouri underperformed all other states in the region in terms of job creation,” Goss said. Missouri’s employment is still down more than 120,000 jobs since before the recession. Recent gains among durable-goods producers in the state will boost both economic and job prospects for the state in the months ahead, Goss said.

Nebraska: Nebraska’s overall index rose in April to 55.6 from 53.4 in March. Components of the index were new orders at 62.7, production or sales at 58.9, delivery lead time at 48.7, inventories at 53.0 and employment at 54.8. “Nebraska has regained all the jobs that it lost during the recession,” Goss said. “Durable-goods manufacturers will continue to lead economic and job growth for the state in the next three to six months,” he said.  

North Dakota: North Dakota’s overall index climbed to 57.9 from 55.8 in March. Components of the index for April were new orders at 61.4, production or sales at 56.5, delivery lead time at 58.4, employment at 73.6 and inventories at 39.5. Contrary to other states in the region, North Dakota gained jobs during the recession. North Dakota’s current employment level is almost 80,000 jobs above its prerecession levels. “While our surveys of firms in North Dakota point to very healthy growth, the economic expansion over the next three to six months will be down from the same period for 2012,” Goss said.  

Oklahoma: The overall index for Oklahoma remained above growth neutral last month, but it dipped slightly to 59.8 from March’s 60.0. Components of the index were new orders at 56.7, production or sales at 57.9, delivery lead time at 48.7, inventories at 78.7 and employment at 57.3. Oklahoma’s current employment level is almost 16,000 jobs above its prerecession level. “While recent activity among nondurable-goods producers such as energy firms has been somewhat weaker, durable-goods manufacturers continue to expand,” Goss said. “Based on our surveys, growth for the next three to six months will be positive but down somewhat from the same period of 2012,” he said.

South Dakota:  For a fifth straight month, South Dakota’s overall index remained above growth neutral. It hit 59.4 in April, compared with 58.7 in March. Components of the index were new orders at 63.0, production or sales at 72.2, delivery lead time at 49.8, inventories at 53.7 and employment at 58.1. “Our surveys over the past several months point to continuing economic growth and job expansions for the state in the next three to six months, with durable-goods manufacturers leading the way,” Goss said.


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