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Report: Loss of manufacturing jobs leads to index drop

February 1, 2022 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A loss of manufacturing jobs combined with other factors to slow growth in the regional economy of nine Midwest and Plains states, according to a new monthly report released Tuesday.

Business leaders in nine Midwest and Plains states indicated in Creighton University’s Mid-America Business Conditions cited the job losses, continued supply chain problems and growing inflation . The overall index for January fell to 56.2 from December’s 64.6. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the monthly survey, said that for the first time since the spring of 2020, the region lost manufacturing jobs.

“In terms of supply chain disruptions and bottlenecks for the first half of 2022, approximately one-third of supply managers expect delays to worsen, with only 12% anticipating improvements,” Goss said.

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Conditions also had a roller coaster effect on the survey’s business confidence index, which looks ahead six months. After soaring to 64.0 in December, the index plummeted in January to 36.2 — the lowest reading since the beginning of the pandemic. Goss blamed disappointing jobs numbers, the supply chain issues and rising inflation, combined with the added concern of the Federal Reserve’s promise to raise interest rates starting as soon as March.

The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.