OMAHA, Nebraska -- A survey of Midwest business leaders is shows the economy is still growing, but slower in the first month of the new year.
The Mid-America Business Conditions Index for January dropped to 56.2 from December’s 64.6. Any Index reading above 50 is considered growth-neutral.
"The national and the regional numbers indicate that the manufacturing sector is slowing down. The overall economy--regionally and in the U.S.--will likely slow in the first half of 2022," says Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss.
Goss says business leaders surveyed for the January index called out an ongoing issue.
"More than one-third of supply managers expect supply chain delays to worsen in 2022, while only 12 percent are anticipating improvements." Goss says.
He says last month's index also shows ongoing employment issues.
"Compared to pre-COVID pandemic levels, all nine states (in the index) remain behind the curve in terms of jobs," Goss says.
Goss also says given the direction of inflationary pressures in the Mid-America Business Conditions Index and others, he expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates before their next scheduled meeting in March.
The monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Index surveys business leaders in Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.