The March Mid-America Business Conditions Index shows promise. The March index came in at 58.2, up from February’s 57.4. Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss conducts the monthly survey and says the leading economic indicators showed positive growth and we ended the first quarter of the year on a positive note and the 2nd quarter could be even better.
The survey shows employment numbers did drop a bit but were still in good growth range. Goss says the overall regional employment level was at its highest level ever. The report shows job growth continues to climb in construction, food processing and durable goods. However on the down side, wage growth isn’t in the forecast. Goss says over the next year wage growth will average 1.8% with inflation as high as 2%.
Goss also expects more inflation than what the Federal Reserve predicts. He says that means higher interest rates in the months ahead.
The Midwest Region survey consists of nine states, including Nebraska.