April 24, 2014

Index indicates Missouri economy strong (AUDIO)

A survey of rural Missouri bankers indicates the state’s economy continues to get stronger. In fact, it’s generally better than the other nine states in the region.  The survey is run each month by Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who surveys bank CEOs for what he calls a Rural Mainstreet Index.  The overall index for the ten states has dropped for July but Goss says it has “rocketed” Missouri to a regional high. 

The economic conditions rated by the bankers declined in six states, barely moved the needle in two, and showed significant improvement in Missouri and one other state, Wyoming. Goss takes the economic temperatures of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, both Dakotas, Colorado, and Illinois.

Goss also checks the economic outlook of purchasing agents, people in the middle of the supply and demand chain, every month.  If he combines the two findings, things look good for Missouri. Although he finds some “gray linings around the silver cloud,” he says Missouri is doing better than national numbers. 

The survey rates categories from zero to 100.  Missouri’s overall index jumped by 22 points from June to July although the farmland price index slipped a little.  The new-hiring index in rural areas  went up a little.  Goss says a rating of 50.0 indicates growth neutral climate. Missouri’s rating for July is 81.2.

AUDIO: Goss interview 9:13