The latest Midwest Business Conditions Index increase one point to 49.7 for the month of August compared to 48.7 in July. Dr. Ernie Goss is the Director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group and says this is the second month in a row that the economic indicator fell below growth neutral which is 50.
Dr. Goss says supply managers reported that drought conditions, economic uncertainty and slowing global demand are restraining growth.
The August report shows that 26-percent of business managers surveyed believe the drought contributed to increasing costs to their company.
Goss says economic slowdown is also pushing the regional employment index lower with regional growth in the slightly negative to zero categories in the next several months.
Nebraska’s leading economic indicator also moved below growth neutral 50.0% for two months straight. The index for August declined to 47.8% from July’s 48.3% compared to June’s 54.5%. Dr. Goss says Nebraska saw healthy growth for the first six months of 2012 but the recent surveys suggests no job gains for the next three to six months.