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Monthly Midwest economy survey index soars to all-time high

National News

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new monthly survey shows the economy in nine Midwest and Plains states roaring back to life in the wake of a devastating global pandemic, with the survey’s overall index soaring to its highest reading since it began almost three decades ago.

The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions for April released Monday came in at 73.9 from March’s 68.9. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the region has regained more than half the 106,000 manufacturing jobs lost to the pandemic in April 2020.

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

Here’s what the report says about Arkansas:

Arkansas: The April Business Conditions Index for Arkansas decreased to 73.9 from 75.0 in March. Components from the April survey of supply managers were: new orders at 80.6, production or sales at 77.1, delivery lead time at 84.8, inventories at 70.2, and employment at 56.9. “Compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arkansas manufacturing employment is higher by 900 jobs, or 0.6%, while average hourly manufacturing wages are 2.6% higher,” said Goss.

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