The economic news for the Midwest is not good, especially if you’re looking at the overall trend, according to a Creighton University economist.

“After 32 months of positive readings, we’ve got a negative reading this month,” said Ernie Goss, whose August Mid-America Business Conditions Index was released Tuesday. “I think the national reading will be negative, as well.”

Weakness in manufacturing and agriculture is what’s driving the index down. The Kansas index was at 49.9 in August.

“Both of those are tied to, of course, trade,” said Goss. “Trade is not going well. Our export number was the lowest reading we’ve had in many years. Tariffs are not helping. The President hopes in the long run, they will help.”

Goss also thinks the Federal Reserve will lend a hand.

“They will reduce interest rates on September the 18th a quarter-percent,” said Goss. “It’s not going to have much of a positive impact, but no one wants to be the head of the Federal Reserve or on that board that sets the interest rates and be blamed. We’ve seen some blame game so far.”

Goss notes that when politics mixes with economics, politics wins and economics loses.