A mid-America business study that has used people in the middle of the supply-and-demand cycle for more than three decades suggests Missouri is heading for its highest unemployment rate in 25 years. The Mid-America Economic Indicator Index surveys supply managers in nine Midwest and Great Plans states each month. Creighton University Professor Ernie Goss says the people who buy the things their companies sell use new orders, delivery lead times, employment, production and inventories to rate economic conditions in each state. He’s predicting unemployment will hit seven percent next year in Missouri, the highest since May of 19-84. "I don’t think this is going to be a deep recession," he says. "I expect it to be fairly mild, fairly short." He thinks the key is a turnaround in the housing sector,which he thinks could happen mid-way through 2009.
Goss says Missouri tends to experience more of the ups and downs of the national economy than many other states because it’s a durable goods manufacturing state. He says easing of credit will help and so will reduction of the inventory of vacant houses. He says trends in that area look positive.