An economist who oversees a monthly survey of nine predominantly Midwestern states says the recovery that began in agriculture now is rippling into more sectors of the rural economy.
Creighton University's Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose two-and-a-half points in February to 58.4.
Ernie Goss, Creighton University Economist: "That index was up... strong number for the month of February. And so what we what we saw was, what was in the agriculture and energy sectors now is much broader.
Data for the index is compiled from a monthly survey of supply managers and executives in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Any reading above 50 indicates economic expansion.
Ernie Goss, Creighton University Economist: "All in all it was a very good report. The national numbers coming out are going to tell much the same story. We're going to see the unemployment rate come down in the months ahead and we're going to see employment growth going up in the months ahead -- that's for the Mid-America region and the U.S. economy. The only fly in the ointment in what we could see is if oil prices move between $120 and $130 per barrel. That would put a dent in the growth.