Lukas Partners supports Creighton University Economics professor Ernie Goss, Ph.D, to create and distribute a monthly video that summarizes his Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a survey of supply managers. This is a leading economic indicator for the nine-state Midwestern region that stretches from Minnesota to Arkansas.
You can view Dr. Goss’ February recap video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSPGr43TsKc
The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index continued to see strong gains in August, although overall economic growth in the nine Mid-America states is slowing down. Dr. Goss said hiring numbers are trending lower. While hiring is still strong, he said employment will not be back to pre-COVID levels until Q1 2022. The biggest challenge facing supply managers is supply chain bottlenecks -- getting supplies into companies and outputs out of companies. Finding qualified workers, the coronavirus and rising input prices are other challenges supply managers are facing. In regard to inflation, Goss said it will remain strong and is expected to double from what the Federal Reserve anticipated. In August, the Mid-America region saw a downturn in inflationary pressures from record highs in June and July. Goss said the outlook is for slower growth in the weeks and months ahead. Long-term interest rates are expected to rise and short-term interest rates are expected to remain low.