Sales are up 2 percent to $176.7 billion from Nov. 1 through Sunday, according to data from ShopperTrak. That's a slower pace than expected with few days left in the season.
Analysts say the economy would be better able to sustain its growth if the riches were more evenly dispersed.
The Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, determined the ranking by looking at job growth, wages and economic output.
Employers added 203,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a five-year low, the Labor Department reported Friday.
According to a survey of nine states, the overall economic index for November is 51.2, an increase from October's 50. An above-50 score suggests growth, while any score below 50 suggests decline, survey organizers say.
Members of the public are invited to take part in a discussion of U.S. farm policy and the farm bill. The featured speaker will be Dr. Pat Westhoff, a professor in the MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
Ryan Rowden of the Missouri Petroleum Council, said the jump is the result of a small increase in wholesale prices, which have risen by about 5 percent in three days.
The federal government shutdown has contributed to worsening business conditions in Midwest and Plains states, according to the Mid-America Business Conditions Index. The overall index plunged to a growth neutral 50.0 in October following figures of 54.8 in September and 53.8 in August.
Missouri is forecast to produce an average of 130 bushels of corn per acre this year, the state's highest since 2009.
As consumers are holding off on back-to-school shopping, according to a preliminary tally of 10 retailers, many stores are already offering discounts.
Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits over the past four weeks dropped to a seasonally adjusted 335,500, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest level since November 2007, which was one month before the recession began.
Friday's report from the Labor Department pointed to a less-than-robust job market as July's gain of 162,000 jobs was the smallest since March. And most of the job growth came in lower-paying industries or part-time work.
Hostess Brands LLC says the spongy yellow cakes will have a shelf life of 45 days when they start hitting shelves again July 15. That's nearly three weeks longer than the 26 days the previous owner had stated as the shelf life for Twinkies.
Trendy small businesses like breweries and younger residents have been returning to downtown neighborhoods in many cities across the U.S.
The Fed's bond purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates at record lows. A pullback in the Fed's purchases would likely lead to higher rates on mortgages and other consumer and business loans.
The percentage of Americans in the labor force dropped to its lowest point since May 1979 after more than half a million people left the work force from February to March.
Officials with BrightFarms Inc. and the Port Authority of Kansas City announced Monday a plan to build the greenhouse on a 5-acre tract just east of the Heart of America Bridge and next to Berkley Riverfront Park.
The index is closely watched by economists because it makes a monthly gauge of how Americans are feeling about their jobs, incomes and other bread-and-butter issues. That's important because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
The nine-member board will be responsible for the fund, which was created when voters passed a sales tax increase in the November election.
A package of tax increases and spending cuts, known as the "fiscal cliff," would take effect in January unless Congress passes a new budget deal before then.