- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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 March:

Arkansas: The state’s overall index rose to a regional high of 54.9 from February’s 52.7. Components of the index were new orders at 64.3, production or sales at 44.7, delivery lead time at 57.7, inventories at 51.7 and employment at 56.0. “Arkansas’ dependence on international trade and exports is less than the rest of the nation and the region,” Goss said. “The rising value of the U.S. dollar, making U.S. goods less competitively priced abroad, presents less of an economic challenge for Arkansas than for the region and nation because the state’s chief trading partner is Canada, and the state’s No. 1 exported product is transportation equipment,” he said.

Iowa: Iowa’s overall index declined in March to 51.6 from 52.6 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 60.5, production or sales at 42.0, delivery lead time at 54.2, employment at 52.7 and inventories at 48.6. Iowa’s dependence on international trade and exports is less than that of the nation, but greater than the rest of the region. However, Iowa’s export growth since 2009 has exceeded that of the U.S. and the region. “Thus, the rising value of the U.S. dollar, making U.S. goods less competitively priced abroad, represents more of an economic challenge for Iowa’s growth going forward than for the region and nation,” Goss said.

Kansas: The state’s overall index sank in March to 50.7 from 52.7 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 59.4, production or sales at 41.3, delivery lead time at 53.3, employment at 51.8 and inventories at 47.7. The state’s dependence on international trade and exports is lower than that of the nation but greater than the region’s, Goss said, and the state’s export growth since 2009 has lagged that of the U.S. and region. Thus, the rising value of the U.S. dollar “represents a moderate economic challenge for the Kansas economy going forward,” he said.

Minnesota: After 27 months of readings above growth neutral, the overall Minnesota index slumped to the neutral threshold of 50.0 in March, compared with February’s much healthier 64.7. Components of the index were new orders at 58.6, production or sales at 40.7, delivery lead time at 50.0, inventories at 47.1 and employment at 51.1. “Forty-one states experienced faster export growth over the past nine years than Minnesota. Furthermore, Minnesota is less dependent on the sale of products abroad than the rest of the nation,” Goss said. “Thus, the rising value of the U.S. dollar, making U.S. goods less competitively priced abroad, represents a moderate economic challenge for the Minnesota economy going forward.”

Missouri: The state’s overall index fell to 52.1 from 56.8 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 58.0, production or sales at 42.4, delivery lead time at 52.0, inventories at 49.0 and employment at 55.9. Forty-five states experienced faster export growth over the past nine years than Missouri, Goss said, but Missouri is less economically dependent on exports than the rest of the nation and region. So, he said, the rising value of the U.S. dollar “represents less of an economic challenge for the Missouri economy going forward than for rest of the nation.”

Nebraska: For the 15th straight month, Nebraska’s overall index remained above growth neutral. But it dropped to 51.8 in March from 53.8 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 60.7, production or sales at 42.2, delivery lead time at 53.2, inventories at 48.8 and employment at 52.9. Nebraska is less dependent on international trade and exports than the nation but more dependent than other states in the region. Additionally, the state’s export growth since 2009 has significantly exceeded that of the U.S. and the region. “Thus, the rising value of the U.S. dollar, making U.S. goods less competitively priced abroad, represents more of an economic challenge for Nebraska’s growth going forward than for the region and nation,” Goss said.

North Dakota: The state’s overall index rose in March to 53.2, compared with 51.1 in February. Components of the overall index were new orders at 62.4, production or sales at 43.3, delivery lead time at 53.2, employment at 54.4, and inventories at 50.1. North Dakota is more dependent on international trade and exports than the nation and region, Goss said, and the state’s export growth since 2009 has significantly exceeded that of the U.S. and the region. So the rising value of the U.S. dollar “represents more of an economic challenge for North Dakota’s growth going forward than for the region and nation,” Goss said.

Oklahoma: The overall index for Oklahoma sank in March to 51.6 from 53.7 in February. Components of the index were new orders at 60.5, production or sales at 42.0, delivery lead time at 53.5, inventories at 47.9 and employment at 52.7. “Oklahoma’s dependence on international trade and exports is substantially less than that of the nation and region. Furthermore, the state’s export growth since 2009 has significantly lagged that of the U.S. and the region, which means the rising value of the U.S. dollar represents less of an economic challenge for Oklahoma than for the region and nation,” Goss said.

South Dakota: South Dakota’s overall index plunged to 50.9 last month from February’s much stronger 63.3. Components of the overall index for March were new orders at 59.6, production or sales at 41.4, delivery lead time at 50.9, inventories at 47.9, and employment at 52.0. South Dakota is less dependent on international trade and exports than the nation and region. But the state’s export growth since 2009 has significantly lagged that of the U.S. and the region. So, Goss said, the rising value of the U.S. dollar, making U.S. goods less competitively priced abroad, “represents only a moderate economic challenge for South Dakota moving ahead.”

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Online:

Creighton Economic Forecasting Group: http: //www.outlook-economic.com

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