Missouri's economy improving, index shows

Sunday, June 15, 2003

For the 16th consecutive month Missouri's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) remained above 50, considered to be one sign of an expansionary economy.

Economists consider the index, which measures such factors as new orders, production, supplier delivery times, backlogs, inventories, prices, employment, import orders and exports, a key economic indicator.

Missouri's PMI for May was 53.6, up slightly from 53.0 in April. Inventories (59.4), new orders (57.4) and production (54.7) contributed positively to the state's score.

Overall, the average for the Mid-America Region was 55.3 in May, up 2.2 points from April.

The national PMI in May remained slightly below the critical 50 mark at 49.4, however, it was up four points from the April score of 45.4. A score below 50 forecasts a sluggish economy for the next three to six months.

The Purchasing Managers' Index is part of a monthly Mid-American Business Conditions Survey, conducted by Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

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