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 overall index has a range 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 of the August survey in the mid-America region:
Arkansas: Arkansas' overall index dropped again, hitting 50.2 in August, compared with 50.5 in July and 55.9 in June. Components of the overall index were; new orders at 40.1, production or sales at 57.9, delivery lead time at 62.7, inventories at 40.7 and employment at 49.8.
"The state's large nondurable goods manufacturing sector is experiencing improving business activity," Goss said. "Our survey results indicate that the growth will likely remain positive but well down from earlier in the year."
Iowa: For the eighth straight month, Iowa's overall index remained above growth neutral. Nonetheless, it slipped to 66.9 in August from 68.2 in July. Components of the overall index were; new orders at 73.8, production or sales at 72.9, delivery lead time at 67.8, employment at 61.7 and inventories at 58.1. Growth in Iowa's durable-goods manufacturing sector offset weaker conditions among nondurable goods manufacturers, especially food producers, Goss said. Egg recalls among Iowa producers will further weaken the sector, he said.
Kansas: The overall index rose for the first time since May. The August index climbed to 53.4 from 49.3 in July, and 51.1 in June. Components of Kansas' overall index were: new orders at 59.5, production, or sales, at 55.8, delivery lead time at 54.5, employment at 51.6 and inventories at 45.7. Goss said Kansas' food producers reported healthy business conditions in August, but durable goods manufacturers and telecommunications firms experienced pullbacks.
Minnesota: Minnesota's overall index dropped slightly in August but remained above growth neutral for the 13th straight month. It slipped to 63.7 from 64.4 in July and 65.5 in June. Components of the overall index were; new orders at 62.3, production or sales, at 62.9, delivery lead time at 57.9, inventories at 66.8 and employment at 68.5. Minnesota has enjoyed annualized job growth above 2 percent in the past few months, Goss said — well above the regional average. Durable and nondurable goods producers are reporting healthy growth in sales, new orders and employment, he said.
Missouri: For the 14th straight month, Missouri's overall index remained growth neutral. It dropped to 51.6 in August, compared with 53.8 in July and 58.5 in June. Components of the overall index from the August survey were; new orders at 51.8, production or sales, at 51.8, delivery lead time at 56.1, inventories at 51.1 and employment at 47.3.
"Outside of food-processing firms, nondurable-goods firms are reporting flat economic conditions," Goss said. "Even transportation-equipment manufacturing is experiencing softer economic conditions compared to earlier in the year. I expect growth to remain positive but down from earlier in the year for the state."
Nebraska: For the 12th month in a row, Nebraska's overall index remained above growth neutral. The August reading slipped to 57.5 from 62.9 in July. Components of the overall index were; new orders at 56.6, production or sales, at 63.8, delivery lead time at 61.4, inventories at 48.9 and employment at 57.0. "Durable-goods producers in the state are increasing output at a brisk rate even as they add jobs at a much more subdued pace," Goss said. Rail shipping has been very healthy while truck transportation has been a bit softer in the state, and Goss said food processors haven't seen significant upturns in activity.
North Dakota: North Dakota's overall index dropped to 50.4 from 57.6 in July. Components of the overall index were; new orders at 32.2, production or sales, at 39.2, delivery lead time at 70.7, employment at 57.3 and inventories at 52.8."The gap between regional growth and North Dakota growth will narrow in the months ahead as the state's rapid expansion slows a bit," Goss said. Durable goods producers continue to grow at a faster pace than nondurable goods manufacturers in the state, he said.
Oklahoma: For the seventh month in a row, Oklahoma's overall index remained above growth neutral. It rose to 64.1 in August, compared with 61.6 in July and 67.4 in June. Components of August's overall reading were; new orders at 73.4, production, or sales, at 74.4, delivery lead time at 69.3, inventories at 52.4 and employment at 51.2. "While growth among the other states is slipping, Oklahoma's economic expansion is escalating," Goss said. Food processors and other nondurable goods manufacturers also are reporting upturns.
South Dakota: The state's overall index is still pointing to growth, coming in at a regional high of 67.5, compared with 66.6 in July and 66.8 in June. Components of the overall index for August were; new orders at 68.7, production or sales, at 68.2, delivery lead time at 62.4, inventories at 69.3 and employment at 68.8.
"Growth prospects in South Dakota have improved over the past several months even as the national and regional economies have cooled. Manufacturers in the state is expanding while construction activity has yet to get back on track," Goss said.