OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly economic index for nine Midwest and Plains states rose above a growth neutral level last month, pointing to slow growth for the region over the next three to six months.

The Mid-America Business Conditions index hit 53.2 in January, up from 49.5 in December and 48.0 in November.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he noted that the region’s manufacturing sector “moved sideways to slightly down” over January.

The survey of business leaders and supply managers uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

The January Business Conditions Index for Missouri advanced to 51.2 from December’s 46.8.

Components of the survey of supply managers in the state were new orders at 48.4, production or sales at 50.1, delivery lead time at 54.5, inventories at 47.7, and employment at 56.0. 

While the U.S. vehicle manufacturing industry has expanded at a healthy pace, that has not been the case for Missouri.

Automobile producers and firms linked to vehicle manufacturing are not growing at the national pace. On the other hand, metal manufacturing firms are reporting healthy upturns in business conditions, said Goss.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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