The Associated Press November 1, 2010, 1:58PM ET

Midwest economy: A state-by-state glance for Oct.

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 of the October survey in the Mid-America region:

Arkansas: The overall Arkansas index rose to 61.3 in October from 52.6 in September and 50.2 in August. Components of the index were new orders at 52.8, production or sales at 71.8, delivery lead time at 64.6, inventories at 56.0 and employment at 61.4. "After gaining 5,400 jobs between December 2009 and May 2010, Arkansas lost almost 4,000 jobs between May and September," Goss said. "If we continue to record solid readings for the state in our surveys of supply managers, I expect job growth to once again be in the positive range in the months ahead."

Iowa: For the 10th straight month, Iowa's overall index remained above growth neutral, although it slipped to 60.2 in October from 61.3 in September. Components of the overall index were new orders at 64.9, production or sales at 62.1, delivery lead time at 65.9, employment at 56.1 and inventories at 52.1. After gaining more than 20,000 jobs between December 2009 and this past May, Goss said, Iowa lost more than 9,000 jobs between May and September.

Kansas: The overall Kansas index dropped slightly in October but remained above growth neutral for the third month in a row. It hit 55.1, compared with 55.5 in September. Components of the overall index were new orders at 67.3, production or sales at 65.4, delivery lead time at 58.5, employment at 38.3 and inventories at 47.9. After gaining more than 10,000 jobs between December and May, Kansas lost almost 1,500 jobs between May and September. Goss said Kansas companies were increasing sales without adding to their payrolls. "I expect job growth to be flat to slightly negative in the months ahead," he said.

Minnesota: For the fourth month in a row, Minnesota's index declined. It dropped to 52.8 in October from 58.9 in September. October was the 15th straight month that Minnesota's index remained above growth neutral. Components of the overall index were new orders at 51.0 production, or sales at 57.8, delivery lead time at 49.9, inventories at 53.4 and employment at 51.7. "After gaining almost 32,000 jobs between December 2009 and May 2010, Minnesota's employment level has remained virtually unchanged since May," Goss said. "I expect very modest job gains in the months ahead as durable-goods producers benefit from sales abroad."

Missouri: For the 16th straight month, Missouri's overall index remained above growth neutral. It slipped to 52.2 in October from 52.9 in September. Components of the overall index were new orders at 48.1, production, or sales at 50.5, delivery lead time at 59.0, inventories at 53.4 and employment at 50.3. After gaining more than 7,000 jobs between December and May, Goss said, Missouri lost more than 12,000 jobs between May and September. "Our surveys of supply managers in the state show no signs of any significant upturn in hiring in the near term," he said.

Nebraska: For the first time since August 2009, Nebraska's overall index dropped below growth neutral. The October reading was 49.8, compared with 57.3 in September. Components of the overall index were new orders at 50.1, production or sales at 51.5, delivery lead time at 59.9, inventories at 45.9 and employment at 54.5. After gaining more than 8,000 jobs between December and May, Nebraska lost almost 3,300 jobs between May and September, Goss said. "I expect the state to continue to lose jobs, albeit at a slower pace, in the near term," he said.

North Dakota: North Dakota's overall index remained above growth neutral in October. The index dipped slightly, to 51.4 from 52.7 in September. Components of the overall index for October were new orders at 49.7, production or sales at 47.3, delivery lead time at 64.4, employment at 51.0 and inventories at 44.5. After gaining more than 4,000 jobs between December and May, Goss said, North Dakota lost almost 1,000 jobs between May and September. "I expect job growth for the state to be flat to slightly negative in the near term," he said.

Oklahoma: The overall index jumped to a regional high of 75.2 in October from 60.4 in September. It was the 10th straight month that Oklahoma's overall index remained above growth neutral. Index components were new orders at 85.0, production or sales at 81.1, delivery lead time at 88.2, inventories at 76.6 and employment at 46.2. "Oklahoma and South Dakota are the only states in the nine-state region to gain jobs for both time periods: December 2009 to May 2010, and May 2010 to September 2010," Goss said. "Even though our employment reading for (Oklahoma) has been below growth neutral for several months, I expect the state to continue to add jobs in the months ahead," he said.

South Dakota: The state's overall index continued to point to economic expansion, Goss said, even though the index dropped to 61.3 in October from 70.2 in September. Components of the overall index were new orders at 55.7, production or sales at 67.1, delivery lead time at 55.6, inventories at 57.3 and employment at 71.0. Goss said he expected South Dakota to continue to add jobs at a slower pace in the months ahead.


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