Midwest economy: April state-by-state glance

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Farm Forum

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 area state results for April:

Iowa: Iowa’s overall index was unchanged from March’s 67.2. Components of the index were new orders at 72.2, production or sales at 72.9, delivery lead time at 60.6, employment at 64.3 and inventories at 66.1. “Durable-goods manufacturers and ethanol producers more than offset weaker conditions for food processors in Iowa. Despite impressive gains among durable-goods manufacturers in the state over the past year, Iowa’s manufacturing sector has almost 10 percent fewer manufacturing workers today than shortly before the national recession began,” said Goss.

Minnesota: Minnesota’s overall index dipped to a still healthy 64.9 in April from March’s 66.1. Components of the index were new orders at 70.0, production or sales at 73.3, delivery lead time at 64.1, inventories at 64.6 and employment at 52.4. Minnesota’s manufacturers have almost 10 percent fewer workers today than shortly before the national recession began, Goss said.

Nebraska: After declining below growth neutral for the last three straight months of 2013, Nebraska’s overall index has remained above 50.0 for the first four months of 2014. It hit to 55.1 in April, compared with 54.8 in March. Components of the index were new orders at 57.3, production or sales at 62.5, delivery lead time at 53.8, inventories at 51.6 and employment at 50.6. “Nondurable-goods manufacturers, including ethanol producers, are reporting healthy business conditions and are offsetting weaker conditions among durable-goods producers,” Goss said. Nebraska’s manufacturing sector has about 6 percent fewer workers today than shortly before the national recession began, he said.

North Dakota: North Dakota’s overall index slipped to a still healthy 60.2 from March’s 60.3. Components of the overall index were new orders at 55.0, production or sales at 52.8, delivery lead time at 51.2, employment at 82.2 and inventories at 52.98. “Durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturing firms are expanding at a solid pace, adding to the significant boost from energy-linked firms,” Goss said. North Dakota’s manufacturing sector has about 3.4 percent fewer workers today than shortly before the national recession began, he said.

South Dakota: The overall index rose to a regional high of 68.1, up from March’s 63.8. Components of the overall index were new orders at 69.0, production or sales at 87.7, delivery lead time at 43.9, inventories at 63.4 and employment at 76.7. “Durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers in the state continue to add jobs and increase the hours worked for current employees,” Goss said. “Despite impressive gains among manufacturers in the state over the past year, South Dakota’s manufacturing sector has approximately 2 percent fewer manufacturing workers today than shortly before the national recession began,” he said.