Midwest Economy Continues to Grow, Shows Inflation and Recession Concerns

OMAHA, Nebraska -- A new monthly survey of Midwest business leaders shows continued economic growth, despite ongoing inflation and rising concerns about recession.

Creighton University's nine-state Mid-America Business Conditions Index for July was 59.8, up from from June’s 58.6. An index reading of 50 is considered growth-neutral.

"Our July survey of manufacturing supply managers says there's no recession here. The overall index is in solid growth range. When you compare it to earlier months, it's still down--we're seeing softer growth than what we saw earlier in the year, and what we saw at this time last year," says Creighton Economist Ernie Goss.

Goss says questions about whether or not the national and Midwest economies are in recession are likely to be answered in the coming months.

"The recession likelihood is there. We're probably in a recession, or skating along and moving into a recession in the next quarter or so," Goss says.

He says ongoing inflation concerns also continue to play a part in a new Mid-America Business Conditions Index--especially looking at the 3rd quarter of the year.

"Inflation at the national level and in the region is going to remain above 6.5 percent--that's three times the Federal Reserve's target of two-percent," Goss says.

He also says the Federal Reserve's likely not done raising interest rates in an effort to slow inflation.

“I expect a half-percent rate at the Fed’s interest rate setting committee meeting next month, despite two consecutive declines in quarterly gross domestic product. Inflationary pressures remain too high for anything less,” said Goss.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index is a monthly survey of manufacturing supply and other business managers in Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

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