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Midwest economy: July state-by-state glance

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The Institute for Supply Management, formerly the Purchasing Management Association, began formally surveying its membership in 1931 to gauge business conditions.

The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group uses the same methodology as the national survey to consult supply managers and business leaders. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss oversees the report.

The overall index ranges between 0 and 100. Growth neutral is 50, and a figure greater than 50 indicates an expanding economy over the next three to six months.

Here are the state-by-state results for July:

Arkansas: The state's overall index rose to 53.1 from June's 51.3. Components of the index were new orders at 49.5, production or sales at 49.3, delivery lead time at 53.6, inventories at 47.6 and employment at 65.7. Construction and manufacturing all reported strength for the month, Goss said. "Average weekly salary growth over the past year for the workers in the state at 1.5 percent is weak and below the increase in prices over the same period of time, thus leaving workers with a loss once wages are adjusted for inflation," he said.

Iowa: Iowa's overall index fell to a still-healthy 63.0 from 67.8 in June. Components of the index were new orders at 70.5, production or sales at 72.9, delivery lead time at 56.2, employment at 65.5 and inventories at 49.9. "Even though the overall index declined for the month, strong growth among durable-goods producers more than offset weaker conditions for nondurable-goods manufacturers, including food processors, to maintain a healthy reading for the month," Goss said.

Kansas: The state's overall index dropped to 57.2 from 59.4 in June. Components of the index were new orders at 66.4, production or sales at 65.1, delivery lead time at 43.0, employment at 57.1 and inventories at 54.5. "Nondurable-goods producers, including food processors, are expanding at a healthy pace which is well above firms in the state's durable-goods sector," Goss said. "Even as firms add jobs, average weekly wages for Kansas workers grew at a subpar 1.2 percent, and well below the rate of inflation, over the past 12 months," he said.

Minnesota: Despite dropping, Minnesota's overall index remained above growth neutral for the 20th month in a row. The index declined to a regional high of 66.4 from June's 70.1, also a regional high. Components of the July index were new orders at 77.5, production or sales at 77.9, delivery lead time at 61.0, inventories at 57.1 and employment at 58.4. "Even with solid job growth in the state, average weekly wage growth for workers in the state over the past year expanded at an anemic 1.2 percent, well below the rate of inflation," said Goss.

Missouri: The state's overall index slipped to 59.0 from 59.3 in June. Components of the index were new orders at 60.6, production or sales at 66.0, delivery lead time at 56.7, inventories at 53.5, and employment at 58.0. Motor vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers are experiencing healthy growth, Goss said, and nondurable-goods producers, except for food processors, are reporting solid business expansion.

Nebraska: For the seventh straight month, Nebraska's overall index remained above growth neutral. It rose slightly, to 55.5 in July, from 55.2 in June. Components of the index were new orders at 60.1, production or sales at 61.8, delivery lead time at 52.2, inventories at 53.2 and employment at 50.3. "While year-over-year job growth has been less than the region and the nation, average weekly wages for Nebraska workers advanced by 2 percent over the past 12 months, approximately the same as inflation, but well ahead of regional wage growth," Goss said.

North Dakota: North Dakota's overall index fell to 57.3 last month, compared with June's 61.6. Components of the overall index were new orders at 61.7, production or sales at 56.5, delivery lead time at 58.1, employment at 56.4 and inventories at 53.7. "Over the past 12 months, North Dakota led the region in job growth at 4.8 percent and was second only to Iowa in average weekly wage growth at 3 percent. Our surveys over the past several months point to economic expansion in the months ahead for North Dakota," Goss said.

Oklahoma: The state's overall index plunged in July to 54.9 from 66.6 in June. Components of the index were new orders at 60.6, production or sales at 62.7, delivery lead time at 43.9, inventories at 56.6 and employment at 50.8. "Over the past 12 months, Oklahoma's job growth was a healthy 2.1 percent," Goss said. "On the other hand, average weekly earnings for workers in the state over the past 12 months advanced by only 0.6 percent and well below the rate of inflation," he said.

South Dakota: South Dakota's overall index plummeted to 61.0 from 69.5 in June. Components of the overall index for July were new orders at 65.7, production or sales at 62.8, delivery lead time at 55.9, inventories at 68.9 and employment at 51.7. South Dakota manufacturers continue to add jobs at a solid pace, Goss said. "While average weekly wages for all workers in the state grew by only 1.2 percent over the past 12 months, average weekly wages for South Dakota manufacturing workers advanced by a very brisk 8 percent. Our surveys of supply managers in the state point to continuing growth in jobs and wages," he said.

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Online:

Creighton Economic Forecasting Group: http: //www.outlook-economic.com

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