Manufacturing activity in nine Midwestern states remained healthy in
July though it slowed for the fourth month in a row, according to a survey of
companies' purchasing managers.
An index based on the surveys slipped to 53.5 last month from 55.6 in June. Both readings, because they are higher than 50, show that manufacturing continues to expand.
"Our regional gauge, much like national measures, indicates that the economy will likely continue to expand and add jobs, but at a slow pace," said Ernie Goss, an economics professor at Creighton University that does the survey.
Goss said, in Creighton's report, that companies tied to agriculture and export markets were reporting "much softer business conditions."
Nationally, the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index jumped in July to 55.4, and increase form a nearly neutral 50.9 reading in June. Both indexes are generated in the same way.
Creighton said its regional index showed continued expansion in Kansas, where the statewide index stood at a strong 57.3 in July, down from 58.6 in July.
Missouri's index grew to 55.7 last month from 54.7 in July.
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