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Midwest economy: October 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.

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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 October:

South Dakota: After dropping below growth neutral in November 2012, South Dakota's index has moved above growth neutral 50.0 each month since. The overall index advanced to 54.7 from 51.8 in September. Components of the index for October were new orders at 51.4, production or sales at 66.7, delivery lead time at 49.1, inventories at 47.9 and employment at 58.3. "Manufacturers in the state experienced solid improvements for October. Construction activity continues to lag even with very low interest rates," said Goss.

North Dakota: North Dakota's overall index sank to 59.0 from 68.1 in September. Components of the overall index for October were new orders at 53.0, production or sales at 50.4, delivery lead time at 92.8, employment at 63.7 and inventories at 35.4. "As in previous months, energy firms and firms with ties to the state's energy sector experienced strong gains for the month. On the other hand, North Dakota firms with strong ties to agriculture are experiencing slower growth," said Goss.

Arkansas: The overall index for Arkansas rose to a still weak 45.6 from 40.4 in September. Components of the index were new orders at 40.4, production or sales at 44.1, delivery lead time at 51.1, inventories at 46.2 and employment at 46.3. "Companies linked to agriculture and food production are experiencing downturns in economic activity. I expect the state to add few jobs over the next three to six months," said Goss.

Iowa: The state's overall index dropped for a fifth straight month but remains at a healthy level. The index hit 58.5 in October, compared with 63.3 in September. Components of the index were new orders at 58.0, production or sales at 65.4, delivery lead time at 56.4, employment at 52.9 and inventories at 59.6. "Based on our surveys over the past several months, I expect Iowa's manufacturing growth to continue to diminish in the months ahead. Overall state growth will be positive but down from the same period one year earlier," said Goss.

Kansas: The Kansas index fell to 56.3 in October from September's 60.0. Components of the index were new orders at 58.6, production or sales at 65.2, delivery lead time at 47.4, employment at 57.6 and inventories at 52.9. "Both durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers expanded for the month. A decline in export orders restrained overall business activity," said Goss.

Minnesota: For an 11th straight month, Minnesota's overall index remained above growth neutral. The index dropped to 55.2 in October from 57.0 in September. Components of the index were new orders at 59.7, production or sales at 58.9, delivery lead time at 54.5, inventories at 50.0 and employment at 53.0. "Manufacturing growth in Minnesota is slowing but remains positive. Firms are increasing hours worked rather than adding to their payrolls," said Goss.

Missouri: The October overall index for Missouri declined to 54.3 from 55.6 in September. Components of the index were new orders at 55.1, production or sales at 58.8, delivery lead time at 52.9, inventories at 53.6 and employment at 51.1. "Improving conditions in the state's construction activity continue to be a source of economic growth. In manufacturing, companies are increasing hours rather than adding new employees. Metal producers in the state are experiencing improving economic conditions," said Goss.

Nebraska: After moving above growth neutral for two straight months, Nebraska's overall index dropped under growth neutral. The figure was 47.0 in October, compared with 52.0 in September. Components of the index were new orders at 41.7, production or sales at 46.3, delivery lead time at 50.7, inventories at 50.0 and employment at 45.6. "Pullbacks in construction activity and weaker conditions in agriculture negatively influenced manufacturing firms linked to these two sectors. Food processors continue to experience healthy business conditions," said Goss.

Oklahoma: The state's overall index fell to 48.6 in October, compared with 49.2 in September. Components of the index were new orders at 51.6, production or sales at 46.1, delivery lead time at 47.7, inventories at 48.8 and employment at 48.7. "Nondurable-goods firms and companies linked to energy are experiencing pullbacks in economic activity. On the other hand, metal producers in the state continue to expand at a solid pace," said Goss.

See more about the Creighton Economic Forecasting Group online at