Economy grows at healthy pace in nine Midwest, Plains states

OMAHA, Neb. — The economy keeps operating at a healthy pace in nine Midwest and Plains states, but supply delays and shortages of workers are limiting growth in the region, according to a new monthly survey of business leaders.

The overall economic index for the region slipped to 68.9 in August from July’s surging 73.1, but it still indicates strong growth. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy.

“The region is adding manufacturing business activity at a healthy pace, and that regional growth will remain positive, but somewhat slower. Supply chain bottlenecks and labor shortages remain obstacles to growth,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss. who oversees the monthly survey.

Businesses continue to report strong job growth although the hiring index slipped a bit in August to 64.6 from July’s high of 67.2. Businesses say they are having trouble finding and hiring new workers.

Wholesale prices continue to remain high with that index registering 95 in August, down slightly from July’s record 98.7.

So business leaders aren’t exceptionally confident about the next six months. The confidence index slipped to 53.5 in August from July’s 53.6.

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