Midwest economy turns negative

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

OMAHA, Neb. -- For the first time in two years, the overall Business Conditions Index for a nine-state region of the Midwest and Plains took a negative turn.

Thursday's report on the survey of supply managers and executives says the index dropped to 49.9 in October, compared with 52.2 in September.

Organizers say any survey score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline.

Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss oversees the survey. He said one reading slightly below a growth-neutral 50 doesn't signal a recession. But Goss said the October figure is evidence that the weakness in the national economy has hit the region.

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