The index is based on a survey of supply managers and ranges from 0 to 100. An index of greater than 50 indicates an expansionary economy over the next three to six months. The index in Kansas was somewhat better than the regional index but still weak, at 47.9 for October. That’s up from 47.3 in September.
Goss acknowledged Bureau of Labor Statistics reports have shown an improving employment picture in Kansas. However, he said he expects the state’s unemployment rate will be revised upward, because Creighton’s surveys show weakness in several economic indicators, like new orders and production. Goss said Creighton’s gauge of employment for the region is below growth-neutral. In the past few months, the employment portion of the index has shown some of the weakest readings since shortly after the recession ended in 2009, he said.On the positive side, the confidence portion of the index got a boost in October. The regional confidence index was at 58 in October, up from a weak September index of 44.7. Supply managers in the region appear to have a fairly positive outlook on the economy as a whole, despite somewhat weak conditions at their own businesses, Goss said.
The Mid-America region includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.