By Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis

A monthly survey of business supply managers in Missouri and eight surrounding states says the region’s economy has declined. Creighton University economist Dr. Ernie Goss says after five straight months of being above growth neutral, his July survey shows a different picture.

Creighton University Economist Dr. Ernie Goss

Creighton University Economist Dr. Ernie Goss. Photo courtesy of Creighton.

“The overall index declined to 47.6. Now that’s not good, of course, from June’s 50.1. Things are moving in the wrong direction,” says Goss.

The results of Goss’s Mid-America Business Conditions Index are compiled into indexes ranging from zero to 100. Any score above 50 suggests economic growth.

Goss says more than one-third of businesses cite global economic conditions as the greatest factor weighing on company sales, while some managers blame weakness in the farm economy.

“About 20.9% said the farm economy. These aren’t farmers that we are surveying. We’re surveying businesses that are linked to the farmer. That’s big as well. Those are factors that were really pulling down the overall index,” says Goss.

Iowa lost nearly 7,000 manufacturing jobs in the last year and the companies involved are primarily linked to agriculture.