July 28, 2014

Creighton survey shows good turnaround for state economy

Dr. Ernie Goss, Creighton University

Dr. Ernie Goss, Creighton University

A survey of business leaders across Nebraska and eight other states finds the collective economy is seeing a healthy rise in activity.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says after declining for two of the past three months, Nebraska’s Business Conditions Index posted a big rise, which mirrors the boost in surrounding states.

“Our survey of supply managers in nine states, the Mid-America region, that survey for March, the number took its biggest one-month jump in over a year,” Goss says. “It was very good news. We’re seeing this regional economy, much like the national economy, getting stronger and stronger. That’s meaning more and more jobs.”

While there’s been much doom and gloom in the national media about the impact of the federal budget cuts, Goss says businesses in the Midwest aren’t being bothered.

“We asked the supply managers how the federal spending, sequestration, was affecting their businesses — not much at all,” Goss says. “More than three-fourths of them said no impacts at all and about 26%, a little more than one-fourth, reported only modest impacts.”

The Nebraska economy is seeing very broad-based business gains, Goss says, positive growth that’s being reflected across much of the region.

“The job pictures is looking much better,” Goss says. “Durable goods manufacturing, looking good. Non-durable goods manufacturing, also good. You look and dig down below the surface on that, agricultural equipment manufacturing, much better.”

Ag equipment producers continue to expand at a very brisk pace, Goss says, as are metal manufacturers. He says Nebraska’s large food manufacturing sector is also showing improvements for the month.