Monthly Midwest economy survey index soars to all-time high

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LUXEMBURG, IA – MAY 9: Iowa farmer Ernie “George” Goebel pulls a corn planter behind his John Deere tractor while planting corn in a field on the farm he was raised on May 9, 2007 near Luxemburg, Iowa. With the increase in demand for alternative energy some farmers have elected to switch to growing corn in order to produce the profitable ethanol fuel. In the nation approximately 90 million acres of corn are expected to be planted this season. (Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new monthly survey shows the economy in nine Midwest and Plains states roaring back to life in the wake of a devastating global pandemic, with the survey’s overall index soaring to its highest reading since it began almost three decades ago.

The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions for April released Monday came in at 73.9 from March’s 68.9. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the region has regained more than half the 106,000 manufacturing jobs lost to the pandemic in April 2020.

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

This is what the report says about Missouri:

Missouri: The April Business Conditions Index for Missouri rose to 73.2 from 70.5 in March. Components of the overall index from the survey of supply managers for April were: new orders at 80.4, production or sales at 76.9, delivery lead time at 84.0, inventories at 68.2, and employment at 56.5. “Compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Missouri manufacturing employment is down 6,800 jobs, or 2.5%, while average hourly manufacturing wages are 0.7% higher,” said Goss.

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