Report: Loss of manufacturing jobs drives index down – Austin Daily Herald


OMAHA, Neb. — A loss of manufacturing jobs combined with other factors to slow regional economic growth in nine Midwestern and Plains states, according to a new monthly report released Tuesday.

Business leaders from nine Midwestern and Plains states listed in Creighton University’s Mid-America Business Conditions cited job losses, ongoing supply chain issues and rising inflation. The overall index for January fell to 56.2 from 64.6 in December. Any score above 50 on the survey indices suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the monthly survey, said for the first time since the spring of 2020 the region had lost manufacturing jobs.

“In terms of supply chain disruptions and bottlenecks for the first half of 2022, around a third of procurement managers expect delays to worsen, with only 12% anticipating improvements,” Goss said.

The conditions also had a roller-coaster effect on the survey’s business confidence index, which forecasts six months ahead. After climbing to 64.0 in December, the index fell in January to 36.2 – the lowest reading since the start of the pandemic. Goss blamed disappointing jobs numbers, supply chain issues and rising inflation, combined with added concern over the Federal Reserve’s promise to raise interest rates as early as March.

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


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