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(July 2017) June proved to be a month of growth for Midwest manufacturers as domestic and overseas production orders surged, per an economic report issued by Creighton University. The nine state Mid-America Business Conditions Index jumped to 62.3 in June from 55.5 in May. Any figure above 50 signals economic growth.

June marked the seventh consecutive month factory results grew across the region encompassing Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, South and North Dakota, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

“The overall index over the past several months indicates a healthy regional manufacturing economy, and points to healthy growth for both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing into the fourth quarter of this year,” said Ernie Goss, Ph.D., director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group and the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics in the Heider College of Business.

Creighton’s regional manufacturing results mimicked similar good news reported for factories nationwide. In a separate report Monday, the Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturers saw new orders, sales, exports and deliveries rise during the month of June. The ISM index for June rose to 57.8 from 54.9 in May.

The ISM and Creighton findings proved welcome news for manufacturers. In 2016, many product makers struggled as the high U.S. dollar cramped exports and several industries suffered economic downturns including agriculture, mining, steel and oil. Several sectors are now recovering, which has boosted optimism in factories.

Across the central U.S. region, Creighton’s “confidence index” rose to a “robust” 67.5 in June from 61.4 in May. “The Federal Reserve rate hike failed to restrain business confidence. Strong profit growth, and still-low interest rates boosted the economic outlook among supply managers in the nine-state region,” Goss said.

Nationwide, 15 of 18 industrial sectors reported overall growth during June. Those seeing the most growth included makers of furniture and non-metalic mineral products, as well as paper, machinery and electrical goods.

Read the entire article at startribune.com and the full report at creighton.edu.