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Midwest economic index rises slightly

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published December 3, 2012 at 7:12 a.m. Updated December 3, 2012 at 10:16 a.m.

— A monthly economic index report suggests an economic slump will continue over the next three to six months for nine Midwest and Plains states.

The Mid-America Business Conditions index rose slightly in November to a weak 48.0 from 46.5 in October. The figure was 50.4 in September.

The survey of business leaders and supply managers uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.

In Arkansas, the November overall index rose to a weak 45.4 from 42.3 in October.

Components of the index were new orders at 39.6, production or sales at 41.9, delivery lead time at 50.1, inventories at 50.1 and employment at 45.0.

Arkansas has lost manufacturing jobs in 2012.

However, said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, the losses in the state’s nondurable-goods sector were almost equal to the gain for the state’s durable-goods producers. “Our November survey indicates that pullbacks among nondurables continue to outweigh advances for durable-goods manufacturers,” he said.

Besides Arkansas, the survey covers Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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