The overall regional Business Conditions Index for nine Midwest states, including Nebraska and Iowa rose 2.7-percentage points in November. The November number rose to 52.6 compared to 49.9 in October. Any score above 50 suggests economic growth. Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss even with the jump this is no time to celebrate. He says while the regional economy is likely to grow it will be at a very slow rate.
Goss says trade numbers are not good and imports are below growth neutral. When economic growth is down you buy less from overseas. Secondly, the export number, while above growth neutral is still not strong enough.
Goss says we are experiencing one of the side effects from financial uncertainty in Europe. This is a situation he is watching carefully because he says if there is a bail-out or default of Greece that would boost the value of the dollar here. The end result will be a drop in agriculture commodity prices and that is something that has kept the Midwest Region afloat. He says all commodity prices would experience a downward pressure.
Goss expects to see better job growth in the months ahead. The national unemployment rate will hold at 9%.