Business Index Good; Inflation Worries

Since declining to a record low in April of 2020, the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, moved above growth neutral for 14 of the last 15 months.

The Business Conditions Index dipped to a still strong 73.1 from June’s 73.5.

However, as in previous months, between 80% and 90% of manufacturing supply managers report that labor shortages and supply bottlenecks continue to restrain growth.

The regional employment index remained above growth neutral for July rising to 67.2, its highest level in more than two decades.

The wholesale inflation gauge for the month surged to a record high 98.7 from June’s 98.4, the previous record high.

Looking ahead six months, economic optimism, as captured by the July Business Confidence Index, slumped to 53.6 from June’s 60.8.

The Kansas Business Conditions Index for July declined to 73.3 from 76.9 in June.