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(Neb)-Regional Economy "Going Sideways"  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 07/05/2016 08:53 AM
OMAHA - Creighton University's monthly survey of business supply managers in the 9-state Mid-America Region showed a mostly stagnant economy in June, one that could have been a lot better or a lot worse.

       Economist and survey head Ernie Goss says it shows the regional economy is "kind of going sideways" as shown by its overall index just barely staying above the growth-neutral point of 50.

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The survey is weighted toward manufacturing and Goss says that sector of the economy has been in the doldrums for several months, affecting overall employment.

       Last month's survey asked the supply managers if they expected their companies to add or drop jobs in the next 3 months and Goss says the results were about as even as could be with 58% expecting no changes and almost as many expecting to add jobs as to lose jobs.

       The survey's wholesale inflation index rose to its highest level since last May and Goss says it's growing enough to raise some red flags for him. Goss thinks another month or two of similar growth in inflation will lead the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates at least once before the end of the year.

    Most participants completed the survey before Great Britain voted to exit the European Union, but Goss doesn't think the uncertainty over that had much of an impact because imports and exports to the EU from the Mid-America region were just about even at a little under $2-billion dollars.

       In fact, the confidence index...how the supply managers see the economy 6 months from now...rose by 4.4 points to 51.9.

        The survey has numbers for each of the 9 states as well as the region and Nebraska's overall index dropped almost a point, but stayed above growth-neutral at 51.5 while South Dakota's fell 2.7 points but also remained in the black at 51.8.


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