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State economic outlook not so good

Monday, March 2, 2009 | 9:12 a.m. CST; updated 9:32 a.m. CST, Monday, March 2, 2009

OMAHA, Neb. — 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 Midwest at a glance

Arkansas: For the first time since August, Arkansas' overall index rose. February's index climbed to a still frail 29.3 from January's record low 25.8. Components of the overall index were new orders at 21.4, production at 21.6, delivery lead time at 57.1, inventories at 53.6 and employment at 17.9.

Iowa: Iowa's overall index remained below growth neutral for the ninth month in a row. The index jumped to 43.2 from January's record low 22.3. Components of the overall index for February were new orders at 39.6, production at 41.7, delivery lead time at 52.1, employment at 43.8 and inventories at 43.9.

Kansas: The state's overall index dropped for fourth time in the past five months. The February reading slipped to 38.4 from January's 39.6. Components of the overall index were new orders at 33.3, production at 41.7, delivery lead time at 40.9, employment at 36.4 and inventories at 45.8.

Minnesota: For a seventh straight month, Minnesota's overall index remained below growth neutral. It hit a regional low of 28.4 in February, compared with 30.1 in January. Components of the overall index were new orders at 26.3, production at 25.6, delivery lead time at 39.3, inventories at 27.4 and employment at 27.6.

Nebraska: Nebraska's overall index remained below growth neutral for a sixth straight month, coming in at 35.9, the same figure as in January. Components of the overall index were new orders at 30.1, production at 34.5, delivery lead time at 49.4, inventories at 38.5 and employment at 34.7.

North Dakota: For a second straight month, North Dakota's overall index came in below growth neutral. It hit 44.4, compared with 49.2 in January. Components of the overall index were new orders at 44.4, production at 40.0, delivery lead time at 65.0, employment at 38.9 and inventories at 35.0. "North Dakota and Oklahoma are the only two states in the region that have yet to experience the recession," Goss said.

Oklahoma: For the second month in a row, Oklahoma's overall index came in below growth neutral: 46.9, compared with 49.9 in January and 51.6 in December. Components of the index were new orders at 48.5, production at 46.5, delivery lead time at 49.3, inventories at 47.7 and employment at 42.5.

South Dakota: South Dakota's overall index rose for the first time since September. The index hit 45.7 in February, a high for the region, compared with the record low of 39.2 in January. Components of the overall index were new orders at 46.4, production at 50.0, delivery lead time at 50.2, inventories at 53.6 and employment at 32.1.



The overall index ranges between 0 and 100. A figure greater than 50 indicates an expanding economy over the next three to six months.

For the fifth straight month, Missouri's overall index came in below growth neutral. The index hit a record low of 30.3, down from the old record of 32.4 in January. Components of the overall index were new orders at 25.3, production at 25.0, delivery lead time at 45.9, inventories at 39.7 and employment at 28.1. Since the recession began, the state's transportation equipment and parts manufacturing industry has lost nearly 10,000 jobs. "I expect this industry to be Missouri's turnaround industry and will provide an early signal of an economic expansion," Goss said.


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