The December Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, an economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Arkansas to North Dakota, rose for the month, pointing to healthy growth for the next three to six months. The index, which ranges between 0 and 100, climbed to 59.0 from November’s 57.2. This is the 13th straight month that the index has remained above growth neutral, continuing to point to positive growth for the region over the next three to six months.
This month supply managers were asked to identify the greatest economic challenge facing their companies’ profitability over the next five years. Approximately 44.7% named increasing foreign competition as the biggest threat while more than one in five, or 21.3% indicated the shortage of qualified workers would be the greatest challenge to their businesses.