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Survey: Manufacturing Conditions Decline In April

Minnesota was the only state that increased its number of manufacturing jobs.

Manufacturing conditions are at a standstill throughout the Midwest, according to the latest findings of a survey.
 
The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a monthly survey of the manufacturing sector in nine states reported a score of 50.1. Numbers above 50 indicate growth, while those below show contraction. States included in the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Oklahoma.
 
“Continuing weakness in the region’s agriculture and energy sectors remains an obstacle to improving overall growth,” Ernie Goss, director of the Economic Forecasting Group at Creighton University said in a statement.
 
Minnesota’s index score fell slightly from 50.7 in March to 49.8 in April, which lines up with the findings in TCB's economic indicators survey of a cooling economy. Despite the nearly stagnant score, the survey found reason to worry about manufacturing employment in particular – that subsection scored 45.0 in the state. During the last 12 months, the state shed 1,100 durable goods manufacturing jobs while adding 1,200 nondurable goods job. The paltry 100 new jobs was a 0.03 percent increase. Still, it was the only state to report any job growth in the sector.
 
South Dakota scored the highest of the state in the survey with 51.6. It was the only state other than Missouri to report an index score increase. North Dakota performed the poorest.
 
While the report brought little good news, there was a bright spot: A “somewhat weakened dollar” helped U.S. goods be better priced abroad, pushing up imports. That category across all states jumped from a neutral 50.0 to 57.6.
 
The full report can be viewed here.