A business conditions index for nine Midwest and Plains states surged last month to its highest level in a dozen years, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Mid-America Business Conditions Index hit 64.5 in April, compared with 62.1 in March, the report said. The index stood at 65.7 in May 2006.
“Much of the recent growth has been driven by exports,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the index survey. “Almost four of five companies reported that exports were an important component of their company’s profitability.”
The regional new export orders index rose to 70.0 last month from 63.6 in March, and the import index dipped just a point to 62.5.
The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor. A score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.