Kansas economic indicator improves, but lags region

Today Professor Ernest Goss of Creighton University released the Mid-America Leading Economic Indicator. Some key findings are that the index, with is a leading indicator of future economic activity, dropped for the second consecutive month for the Mid-America region. Also, inflation is a threat: “Higher commodity prices, especially for energy products pushed our inflation gauge to its highest level since we initiated the survey in 1994,” said Goss.

The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group has conducted the monthly survey of supply managers in nine states since 1994 to produce leading economic indicators of the Mid-America economy. States included in the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The press release and discussion is at Mid-America Leading Economic Indicator Slides Again.

Kansas in the index

The index value for Kansas rose this month. For eight of the past nine months it has been above the value of 50, which indicates a outlook above “growth neutral,” meaning the economy is expected to expand over the next three to six months.

But the accompanying chart shows a troubling tendency for the index value for Kansas to be below that for other states and the region. Since January 2010, the average value of the index has been far below that of the U.S., the Mid-America region, and several of our peer states. According to Goss, aviation and telecommunications are responsible for Kansas’ poor performance.

Leading economic activity index from Creighton UniversityLeading economic activity index from Creighton University .
Kansas leading economic indicator compared to othersKansas leading economic index compared to others.

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