Report shows improved Midwest economic outlook

Published 10:15 am Friday, January 2, 2015

]OMAHA, Neb. — A monthly report shows an improved economic outlook over the next three to six months for nine Midwestern and Plains states.

A survey report issued Friday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index jumped to 54.4 in December from 51.3 in November.

The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says drops in grain and fuel prices have helped companies with close ties to consumers.