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Midwest economy: May 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 May:

Arkansas: The May overall index declined to 58.9 from April's 62.9. Components of the index were new orders at 52.1, production or sales at 54.1, delivery lead time at 64.6, inventories at 57.1 and employment at 62.7. "Despite recent growth in the Arkansas manufacturing sector, the state's manufacturers are employing approximately 17.2 percent fewer workers today than before the beginning of the national recession," Goss said. "However, our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy in the next three to six months, with healthy wage additions," he said.

Iowa: Iowa's overall index slipped to 66.5 from 67.2 in April. Components of the May index were new orders at 74.7, production or sales at 75.1, delivery lead time at 50.8, employment at 69.6 and inventories at 62.6. The state's manufacturers are employing about 6.1 percent fewer workers today than before the beginning of the national recession, Goss said. "On the other hand, the manufacturing wage rate has expanded by a solid 4.4 percent from one year ago. Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy, with healthy wage increases," he said.

Kansas: The Kansas overall index declined to 58.8 from April's 61.0. Components of the May index were new orders at 57.2, production or sales at 68.8, delivery lead time at 46.9, employment at 53.4 and inventories at 68.0. Kansas manufacturers are employing about 14 percent fewer workers today than before the beginning of the national recession. On the other hand, Goss said, the manufacturing wage rate has expanded by very strong 9.7 percent from a year ago. "Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy for the next three to six months," he said.

Minnesota: For 18 straight months, Minnesota's overall index has remained above growth neutral. It rose in May to 67.3 from 64.9 in April. Components of the index were new orders at 76.7, production or sales at 78.3, delivery lead time at 57.0, inventories at 69.8 and employment at 54.8. "Despite impressive gains for manufacturers in the state over the past year, Minnesota's manufacturing sector has approximately 6.6 percent fewer workers today than before the national recession began," Goss said. "Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy for the next three to six months, with upturns in wage gains," he said.

Missouri: The May index slipped to a still solid 57.7 from 54.8 in April. Components of the survey were new orders at 57.4, production or sales at 62.7, delivery lead time at 57.3, inventories at 51.6 and employment at 59.4. Missouri's manufacturing sector has about 13 percent fewer workers today than before the national recession began. On the other hand, Goss said, the manufacturing wage rate has risen by a strong 6.5 percent from one year ago. "Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy for the next three to six months," he said.

Nebraska: For the fifth straight month, Nebraska's overall index remained above 50.0. It rose only slightly, though, to 55.6 in May from April's 55.1. Components of the index were new orders at 58.6, production or sales at 59.2, delivery lead time at 56.5, inventories at 52.6 and employment at 51.2. "Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy for the next three to six months, with healthy wage increases," said Goss.

North Dakota: North Dakota's overall index rose to 65.2 in May from 60.2 in April. Components of the overall index were new orders at 70.2, production or sales at 62.5, delivery lead time at 56.9, employment at 78.3 and inventories at 58.1. "Despite experiencing the strongest economic growth in the nation over the past several years, North Dakota's manufacturing sector has approximately 3 percent fewer manufacturing workers today than before the national recession began," Goss said. "Additionally, the manufacturing wage rate in the state has expanded by a modest 3.2 percent from one year ago. Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy for the next three to six months, with very strong wage gains," he said.

Oklahoma: The state's overall index rose to 58.3 in May, compared with 54.8 in April. Components of the index were new orders at 67.4, production or sales at 64.8, delivery lead time at 50.6, inventories at 51.6 and employment at 56.9. "Despite healthy gains for manufacturers in the state over the past year, Oklahoma's manufacturing sector has approximately 8.3 percent fewer manufacturing workers today than before the national recession began," Goss said, and its manufacturing wage rate has risen 4.6 percent from a year ago. "Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy for the next three to six months, with solid wage gains," he said.

South Dakota: The state's overall index hit a regional high of 68.9 in May, compared with April's 68.1. Components of the overall index were new orders at 67.9, production or sales at 76.1, delivery lead time at 63.6, inventories at 65.0 and employment at 71.7. South Dakota's manufacturing sector has about the same number of workers today as it had before the national recession began. "Our surveys over the past several months point to solid improvements for manufacturing and the overall state economy for the next three to six months, with strong wage gains," Goss said.

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Online:

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

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