The October Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 58.2 in September from August’s 57.5. Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss says this is the 10th straight month the index has remained above growth neutral 50. He says recent events outside the nine state areas that include Nebraska will impact future development in the region. He says the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico will have a ripple effect here.
Goss says, “We are already seeing nationally housing prices rising but at the same time selling fewer and fewer houses. What does that mean? Supply restrictions. That is all it is. We are going to be rebuilding in Houston. Rebuilding in south Florida. We are going to be rebuilding in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. That is going to take building supplies down there and that is going to push prices up even more and fewer home sales. There is more to come on that.”
September employment index remained above growth neutral and durable and nondurable sectors are adding jobs at a solid pace. Energy firms and those tied to energy are expanding at a strong pace across the region.
Goss says the index over the past several months indicates a healthy regional manufacturing economy and points to solid growth for nonmanufacturing for the rest of 2017. The September Business Conditions Index for Nebraska rose to 59.3 from 57.9 in August.