Midwest economy: March 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 March:
South Dakota: For a fourth straight month, South Dakota's overall index remained above growth neutral. The index hit 58.7 in March, compared with February's 52.5. Components of the index were new orders at 67.7, production or sales at 69.3, delivery lead time at 49.5, inventories at 57.4 and employment at 49.6. "Our South Dakota indicators were strong for March. Manufacturers reported expanding economic conditions and new hiring for the month," Goss said.
Arkansas: The March overall index for Arkansas rose to 53.9 from 51.1 in February. Components were new orders at 55.6, production or sales at 49.5, delivery lead time at 56.2, inventories at 58.3 and employment at 49.7. "While durable-goods producers are expanding employment and the average hourly workweek, nondurable-goods manufacturers are cutting employment," Goss said. "Contrary to other states in the region, the Arkansas construction industry has yet to experience significant gains in business activity, according to surveys over the past several months," he said.
Iowa: Iowa's overall index rose for the third straight month. It hit a regional high of 65.5, compared with 64.6 in February. Components of the index for March were new orders at 69.5, production or sales at 74.2, delivery lead time at 51.9, employment at 65.4 and inventories at 66.5. The Iowa economy is experiencing broad-based business gains, Goss said. Durable-goods producers, especially metal and agriculture equipment manufacturers, continue to expand at a brisk pace. "Our surveys over the past several months point to a continuation of the healthy growth, with gains in both jobs and average hours worked for most industries," he said.
Kansas: The Kansas overall index slipped to 52.0 in March from 54.1 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 53.6, production or sales at 58.1, delivery lead time at 50.2, employment at 49.9 and inventories at 48.3. "Although durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers continue to experience improving economic conditions, transportation equipment producers in the durable sector and food processors in the nondurable sector report no improvements from February," Goss said. Telecommunications firms and their suppliers report more business activity, he said.
Minnesota: Minnesota's overall index remained above growth neutral for the fourth straight month. The index rose to 55.2 in March, compared with 52.0 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 55.7, production or sales at 58.6, delivery lead time at 55.2, inventories at 52.7 and employment at 53.5. Both durable-and nondurable-goods manufacturers reported expanding business activity, Goss said. "Growth continues to be especially healthy for metal producers and machinery manufacturers such as agriculture implement manufacturers," he said.
Missouri: The Missouri overall index rose to 54.9 from 52.1 in February. Components were new orders at 56.2, production or sales at 54.0, delivery lead time at 52.8, inventories at 52.4 and employment at 58.9. "Growth was much stronger among the state's durable-goods producers, such as metal manufacturers and agriculture equipment producers, than among the state's nondurable-goods producers such as food manufacturers," Goss said. Missouri's telecommunications firms are experiencing cuts in jobs and business activity, he said.
Nebraska: Nebraska's overall index bounced above growth neutral in March, climbing to 53.4 from 48.7 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 59.4, production or sales at 54.3, delivery lead time at 51.2, inventories at 54.1 and employment at 48.1. The state's durable-goods producers reported more business activity, Goss said. Growth is especially strong for metal manufacturers and agriculture equipment producers. Nebraska's nondurable-goods manufacturers and the state's large food manufacturing sector showed improvements for the month as well, he said.
North Dakota: North Dakota's overall index rose to 55.8 in March from 54.4 in February. Components of the were new orders at 63.4, production or sales at 61.7, delivery lead time at 50.2, employment at 63.9 and inventories at 45.7. "Pullbacks among durable-goods producers in the state were more than offset by rapid advances for nondurable-goods manufacturers such as food producers and for companies in the state's mining sector." Goss said. Even with labor shortages in some parts of the state, businesses continued to expand construction activity for the month.
Oklahoma: The state's overall index jumped in March to 60.0, compared with 52.5 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 63.4, production or sales at 61.7, delivery lead time at 62.0, inventories at 57.3 and employment at 55.4. "Business and manufacturing construction has bolstered the state's economy over the last several months," Goss said. Additionally, durable-goods manufacturers reported healthy growth that more than offset weakness among nondurable-goods manufacturers such as food processors, he said.