The September Mid-America Business Conditions Index climbed in September to 54.8 compared to 53.8 in August. Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss conducts the survey each month and he says that indicates we will continue to see slow and steady growth through the end of the year but some states will see better growth than others.
Goss says states in the Mid-America region that will see healthy growth for the 4th quarter include North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri. He expects moderate growth in Nebraska and Kansas. The negative growth states include Oklahoma, South Dakota and Arkansas.
Goss says employment figures for the remainder of the 4th quarter are a concern. He says about 38-percent of businesses surveyed plan to not hire and/or cut hours of employees to avoid some of the provisions in the Affordable Health Care Act.
Goss says the confidence index was very weak for the month of September. He says international tension did play a small roll but the budget standoff in Washington was a large contributor. He says the Federal Reserve did throw many economists off by continuing the stimulus program, QE3.
Goss says both imports were slightly above growth neutral but exports are in a slump. This is where international issues played a big roll. Global economic problems are also impact our export numbers.