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Midwest economy: May 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 August:

South Dakota: For a ninth straight month, South Dakota's overall index remained above growth neutral. The overall index dropped to a still-healthy 57.4 from July's 64.8. Components of the index for August were new orders at 64.4, production or sales at 62.0, delivery lead time at 55.4, inventories at 50.5 and employment at 54.5. "Manufacturers in the state are reporting solid gains in jobs and business activity. Our surveys point to continuing growth for South Dakota's economy," Goss said.

Arkansas: The overall index for Arkansas fell to 45.8 in August from 52.9 in July. Components of the index were new orders at 36.6, production or sales at 40.4, delivery lead time at 54.4, inventories at 45.8 and employment at 51.8. Overall, Arkansas manufacturers reported reductions in business activity for the month, with expansions for durable-goods producers more than offset by nondurable-goods manufacturing losses. As the national unemployment rate has declined for 2013, Arkansas' jobless rate has risen. But, said Goss, "Based on our survey results, the state's unemployment rate will change little in the months ahead."

Iowa: The Iowa overall index dropped for a third straight month but remains well above growth neutral. The overall index hit 65.6 in August, compared with 67.4 in July. Components of the index were new orders at 77.1, production or sales at 73.2, delivery lead time at 51.5, employment at 61.7 and inventories at 64.4. "Business gains for durable- and nondurable-goods producers combined to make Iowa's manufacturing sector the strongest in the region for the month. This has spilled over into the broader Iowa economy," Goss said.

Kansas: The overall Index for Kansas rose to 60.0 in August from 57.3 in July. Components of index were new orders at 67.8, production or sales at 74.2, delivery lead time at 49.4, employment at 63.9 and inventories at 44.8. "Business gains for durable-and nondurable-goods producers combined to push the state's manufacturing sector into solid growth territory," Goss said. "Our surveys over the past several months point to an improvement in the state's jobless rate for the rest of the year," he said.

Minnesota: For a ninth straight month, Minnesota's overall index remained above growth neutral. The index rose to a healthy 59.0 from 54.0 in July. Components of the index from the August survey were new orders at 58.0, production or sales at 64.8, delivery lead time at 55.3, inventories at 63.0, and employment at 53.9. "Expansions among durable-goods producers in the state more than offset slightly negative conditions for nondurable-goods firms, including food processors, pushing the overall manufacturing sector and economy forward," said Goss.

Missouri: The August overall index declined to 53.6 from 55.7 in July. Components of index were new orders at 52.2, production or sales at 60.1, delivery lead time at 50.1, inventories at 48.0 and employment at 57.7. "The state's manufacturing sector, especially durable-goods producers, is pushing the state's economy forward," Goss said. "On the other side of the economic coin, telecommunication firms in the state continue to shed jobs," he said.

Nebraska: Nebraska's overall index rose above growth neutral to hit 50.6 in August, compared with 49.1 in July. Components of the index were new orders at 52.4, production or sales at 51.6, delivery lead time at 49.6, inventories at 48.3 and employment at 51.3. Manufacturers combined to push the sector forward for the month, Goss said. Food processors in the state experienced solid business growth as well, he said.

North Dakota: North Dakota's overall index sank to 54.4 in August from 57.5 in July. Components of the index were new orders at 53.1, production or sales at 51.4, delivery lead time at 71.4, employment at 54.7 and inventories at 41.5. "Business gains for durable- and nondurable-goods producers combined to push North Dakota's manufacturing sector into positive growth territory for the month," Goss said. The mining sector continues to drive state growth higher, he said.

Oklahoma: The overall index dropped below growth neutral in August, hitting 49.7, compared with 52.3 in July. Components of the index were new orders at 51.9, production or sales at 47.7, delivery lead time at 54.9, inventories at 49.4 and employment at 44.8. Reductions in business activity for nondurable-goods producers, including food processors, more than offset gains for durable-goods manufacturers, Goss said.



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