The economic outlook for a region of nine states including Kansas is looking brighter. The monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Index for December shows healthy gains over the next 3-to-6 months.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who compiles the report, says Kansas ranks at the top in the region. He says an increase in hiring and lower fuel prices are giving the state a significant boost heading into 2015.
Goss also thinks trade opening up with Cuba will sustain the state’s momentum. He says it signals better trade numbers for agriculture. He notes both the newly Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and the Obama administration are pro-trade, which should be good news for Kansas agricultural exports.
About other sectors of the Kansas economy, Goss says, “For 2014, the leading industry for Kansas was telecommunications, while its lagging industry was aerospace manufacturing. Based on our survey results, I expect Kansas to add jobs at a solid pace for the first half of the year with pullbacks in exports restraining growth, but at a still healthy rate.”
The index includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Listen to Creighton University economist Ernie Goss speak to the pre- and post-recession projections of the Mid-America Business Conditions Index.