- Associated Press - Monday, February 3, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Institute for Supply Management, formerly the Purchasing Management Association, began formally surveying its membership in 1931 to gauge business conditions.

The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group uses the same methodology as the national survey to consult supply managers and business leaders. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss oversees the report.

The overall index ranges between 0 and 100. Growth neutral is 50, and a figure greater than 50 indicates an expanding economy over the next three to six months.

Here are the state-by-state results for January:

Arkansas: The January overall index for Arkansas dropped to 53.6 from 53.9 in December. Components of the index were new orders at 50.9, production or sales at 49.3, delivery lead time at 50.1, inventories at 64.1 and employment at 53.7. “Durable-goods manufacturers and business services firms began the year on a high note. On the other hand, nondurable-goods producers continue to shed jobs,” Goss said. Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri are the only states in the Mid-America region that haven’t returned to prerecession employment levels. “Based on our survey results, Arkansas’ employment will be back to fourth-quarter 2007 levels by the end of 2014,” he said.

Iowa: Iowa’s overall index fell to 59.1 in January - still a regional high. The figure was 61.5 in December. Components of the index were new orders at 60.8, production or sales at 66.5, delivery lead time at 51.6, employment at 59.4, and inventories at 57.1. Manufacturers and business service firms reported healthy January business activity, Goss said. “Based on our survey results, Iowa’s economy will continue to expand for the next three to six months, but at a slower pace than recorded for the same period in 2013,” he said.

Kansas: The overall Kansas index rose to 58.3 from 54.5 in December. Components were new orders at 64.9, production or sales at 68.0, delivery lead time at 49.7, employment at 54.1 and inventories at 54.6. “Economic gains for durable-goods manufacturers and business service firms more than offset business downturns for nondurable-goods producers,” Goss said. Kansas’ employment will be back to fourth-quarter 2007 levels by the end of the year, he said.

Minnesota: For 14 straight months, Minnesota’s overall index has remained above growth neutral. The index dropped to 57.7 in January from 58.9 in December. Components of the index were new orders at 59.9, production or sales at 61.6, delivery lead time at 58.1, inventories at 54.9 and employment at 53.7. “Healthy improvements among durable- and nondurable-goods producers are spilling over into the broader Minnesota economy. While construction activity is not back to prerecession levels, it continues to advance,” said Goss.

Missouri: The January index for Missouri climbed to 53.2 from December’s 51.9. Components were new orders at 54.8, production or sales at 57.5, delivery lead time at 55.4, inventories at 47.9 and employment at 50.3. “Durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers began 2014 on a high note, with healthy sales and job growth. On the other hand, telecommunications firms in the state continue to shed jobs,” Goss said. “Based on our survey results, Missouri’s employment will not be back to fourth-quarter 2007 levels until the first half of 2015,” he said.

Nebraska: Nebraska’s overall index rose to 52.2 in January from 48.1 in December. Components of the index were new orders at 53.7, production or sales at 55.6, delivery lead time at 49.1, inventories at 47.7 and employment at 54.8. Manufacturers and business service firms experienced solid gains for the month, Goss said. “Nebraska’s economy will add jobs at an annual rate of less than 1 percent in the first half of 2014, down from the same period in 2013,” he said.

North Dakota: The state’s overall index slid to a still healthy 56.5 for January from 57.1 in December. Components of the overall index were new orders at 53.7, production or sales at 50.9, delivery lead time at 72.3, employment at 56.7 and inventories at 49.1. “North Dakota’s economy will continue to expand at a healthy pace for the first half of 2014, according to our survey results,” Goss said. Construction activity will remain healthy for the first half of this year, he said.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma’s overall index fell to 54.7 last month from 60.2 in December. Components of the January survey index were new orders at 50.2, production or sales at 61.9, delivery lead time at 48.5, inventories at 61.7 and employment at 51.3. “Growth is picking up for business services firms in the state. While growth remains healthy for durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers, it has cooled slightly,” Goss said. Overall, the Oklahoma economy will add jobs at an annualized rate of 2 percent, well above the regional and national pace, he said.

South Dakota: The state’s overall index rose to 55.1 from December’s 53.2. Components of the January index were new orders at 52.2, production or sales at 51.2, delivery lead time at 51.1, inventories at 57.2 and employment at 63.5. “Durable-and nondurable-goods producers are not only adding jobs at a solid pace, they are increasing the hours worked for current employees,” Goss said. Growth will continue to be healthy for the first half of this year, he said.

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