Business index up in May

The May Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region advanced for a sixth straight month, pointing to a growing economy ahead.

The monthly survey of supply managers in a nine-state region that includes Kansas expanded to 64.2 from April's very healthy 61.7, said Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss, who coordinates the study. An index of 50 is considered growth neutral for the leading economic indicator.

In Kansas, the indicator surged slightly to 62.3 from 62.1. Goss said the state's economy has begun adding jobs against an overall loss of 52,000 during the recession. However, Goss doesn't expect full employment recovery until September 2012.

"The financial turmoil in Europe is a threat to the economic expansion under way," Goss said. "It has increased the value of the dollar, which has made U.S. manufactured goods and farm products less competitive abroad. The flight to the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds, if sustained, will have significant and negative impacts on agriculture income and on economic prospects for industries with linkages to agriculture."

Goss said 79 percent of supply managers report no impact from the European economic issues, a figure that will decline if the dollar continues to appreciate against the Euro.