Business Conditions Index down for November

The November Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region, a leading economic indicator from a survey of supply managers in a nine-state area, slumped to its lowest level since May. The index stood at 47.5, down from October's 51.8 and September's 56.2. An index of 50.0 is considered growth neutral.

In Kansas, the November Business Conditions Index, based on a survey of Kansas supply managers, stood at 42.1, down from October's 50.0. Components of the November overall index were new orders at 44.7, production or sales at 42.5, delivery lead time at 41.1, employment at 47.4, and inventories at 40.9.

"The global recession and rising productivity have reduced manufacturing employment by more than 25,000 or 13.5 percent, over the past year. I expect the pace of these job losses to slow in the months ahead as a cheaper dollar stimulates the sale of Kansas manufactured goods and agricultural commodities abroad," said Creighton University Economics Professor Ernie Goss.

For the region, Goss said, "This month's plunge below growth neutral raises the possibility of a double-dip recession." It has particular significance for rural areas of the region, he said.