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Midwest Economy

Midwest Economy

Survey shows hope for recovery even as economic indices drop


The Associated Press - May 1, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The latest survey of supply managers in a nine-state region of the Midwest and Plains shows many have hope for a rebound yet this year, even as the survey's other indices show the coronavirus pandemic has knocked the economy in Middle America for a loop.

The Mid-American Business Conditions index released Friday plummeted from March's 46.7 to 35.1 in April — the lowest reading since February 2009.

But the confidence index, which gauges supply managers' economic outlook for the next six months, rose to 45.5 from March’s record low 14.5.

Any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while scores below 50 suggest decline.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

State by State Glance:

Arkansas: The April Business Conditions Index for Arkansas sank to 35.1 from March’s 47.3. Components of the April index from the monthly survey of supply managers were: new orders at 21.0, production or sales at 36.9, delivery lead time at 68.2, inventories at 23.3, and employment at 26.1. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 11,500, or 1.0% of workers covered by the unemployment system to 66,500 individuals, or 5.6%,” said Goss.

Iowa: The state’s Business Conditions Index, or overall index, once again slumped below growth neutral. The reading sank to 34.4 from 45.8 in March. Components of the overall April index from the monthly survey of supply managers were: new orders at 23.7, production or sales at 19.7, delivery lead time at 67.4, employment at 25.6, and inventories at 35.5. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 27,800, or 1.8% of workers covered by the unemployment system to 127,300 individuals, or 8.3%,” said Goss.

Kansas: The Kansas Business Conditions Index for April tumbled to 36.3 from March’s 48.3. Components of the leading economic indicator from the monthly survey of supply managers for April were: new orders at 23.2, production or sales at 39.2, delivery lead time at 69.7, employment at 27.0, and inventories at 22.5. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 9,700, or 0.7% of workers covered by the unemployment system to 78,300 individuals, or 5.7%,” said Goss.

Minnesota: The April Business Conditions Index for Minnesota sank to 34.8 from March’s 45.5 Components of the overall April index from the monthly survey of supply managers were: new orders at 20.5, production or sales at 23.4, delivery lead time at 67.9, inventories at 22.5, and employment at 26.0. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 61,700, or 2.2% of workers covered by the unemployment system to 341,500 individuals, or 11.9% of covered employment,” said Goss.

Missouri: The April Business Conditions Index for Missouri slumped to 35.1 from 45.3 in March. Components of the overall index from the survey of supply managers for April were: new orders at 21.1, production or sales at 23.2, delivery lead time at 68.3, inventories at 37.0, and employment at 26.2. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 22,300, or 0.8% of workers covered by the unemployment system, to 178,700 individuals, or 6.4%,” said Goss.

Nebraska: The state’s overall index for April dropped to 36.0 from 47.8 in March. Components of the index from the monthly survey of supply managers for April were: new orders at 22.7, production or sales at 22.7, delivery lead time at 69.3, inventories at 38.7, and employment at 26.8. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 5,000, or 0.5% of workers covered by the unemployment system, to 60,400 individuals, or 6.3%,” said Goss.

North Dakota: The April Business Conditions Index for North Dakota plummeted to 35.8 from 46.8 in March. Components of the overall index for April were: new orders at 22.3, production or sales at 26.6, delivery lead time at 69.1, employment at 22.8, and inventories at 38.3. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 6,300, or 1.5% of workers covered by the unemployment system, to 24,500 individuals, or 6.0%,” said Goss.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma’s Business Conditions Index once again declined below growth neutral in April. The overall index for April slumped to 34.2 from March’s 45.7. Components of the overall April index were: new orders at 19.3, production or sales at 23.8, delivery lead time at 67.1, inventories at 38.3, and employment at 25.5. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 16,400, or 1.1% of workers covered by the unemployment system, to 88,300 individuals, or 5.6%,” said Goss.

South Dakota: The April Business Conditions Index for South Dakota tumbled to 35.9 from March’s 47.4. Components of the overall index from the April survey of supply managers in the state were: new orders at 22.4, production or sales at 22.8, delivery lead time at 69.2, inventories at 38.4, and employment at 26.7. “Between the second week of March, and the first week of April, workers in the state receiving unemployment compensation rose from 2,800, or 0.7% of workers covered by the unemployment system, to 14,400 individuals, or 3.5%,” said Goss.

Survey results for May will be released on Monday, June 1, the first business day of the month.



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