December 22, 2014

A slight dip in July’s Business Conditions Index

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index for the month of July slipped a bit for the Midwestern Region. CreightonUniversity Economist Ernie Goss says his monthly economic survey shows July came in at 57 compared to June’s 60.6 – a 3% drop. Goss says that is still above 50 which show there is still economic growth.

The employment index for July fell to 53.8 – down from June’s two-year high of 61.4. The average weekly earnings for the region expanded by only 1.3% over the past 12 months. Goss says Nebraska’s Business Conditions Index for July rose to a solid 55.5.

The July report also shows the prices-paid index which tracks the cost of raw materials and supplies declined to 67.7 in July from June’s 73.5. Inflationary pressures at the wholesale level have cooled a bit but remain elevated from the same time last year.

Goss says the July business confidence index slipped to 60 compared to June’s 63.6. He says “Despite growing global tensions, improvements in the national and regional job market supported supply managers’ business outlook.”

The inventory index declined to 51.3 in July from June’s 54. New export orders slipped to 57.5 from June’s 60.2. The report also shows new orders for July came in at 61.5, down from June’s 67.2 and production or sales dropped to 65 in July compared to 66 in June.  

For the seventh straight month Nebraska’s overall Business Conditions Index remained above 50. July came in at 55.5 compared to June’s 55.2.   New orders for Nebraska came in at 60.1, production or sales at 61.8, inventories at 53.2 and employment at 50.3. Weekly wages for Nebraska workers advanced by 2% over the past 12 months but unfortunately that is the same rate as inflation.