Economic growth is expected to continue over the next three to six months in nine Midwest and Plains states, including Nebraska.

The Institute for Supply Management, formerly the Purchasing Management Association, began formally surveying its membership in 1931 to gauge business conditions. The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group uses the same methodology as the national survey to consult supply managers and business leaders.

The overall index ranges between 0 and 100. Growth neutral is 50, and a figure greater than 50 indicates growth in that factor over the next three to six months.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss on Monday released the Mid-America Business Index for June that includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, with the combined efforts coming in at 55.4, up from the 54.3 in May.

Goss claims a weak farm income, partially due to tariffs and flooding, pulled regional growth below that of the country. He says more than 70% of the supply managers surveyed say they continue to support the tariffs on China, even raising them. Employment went up by more than six points in June, despite a shortage in workers.

Specifically in Nebraska, the index soared above the growth neutral threshold of 50.0 to hit 55.9 in June, compared with 48.9 in May. Recent surveys indicate that durable-goods producers experienced slight declines in economic activity, Goss said. “On the other hand, nondurable-goods producers, including food manufacturers, in the state are experiencing solid gains in economic activity,” he said.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that Nebraska workers have experienced a 3.3% increase in hourly wages over the past 12 months, slightly above the national gain of 3.1%.

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