The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index for January was released on Friday and Kansas was back above growth neutral after a brief drop in December.
“Manufacturing continues to move along despite all these trade tensions, despite the tariffs,” said economist Ernie Goss. “In Kansas, over the last year, you’ve had a significant growth there, 2.4 percent for non-durables. In terms of durables, that would be heavy manufacturing like aircraft, 4.1 percent.”
Anything over 1.5 percent is considered good.
“I expect that growth to continue over the next 3 to 6 months for sure,” said Goss. “We may see a rate hike from the Federal Reserve, no sooner than June, though, so that’s really good news and I think that’s part of what’s propelling the markets and the growth right now.”
What could slow the growth that is anticipated is a failure to reach an agreement with China on trade.
“If we don’t get some agreement between now and March 1, we’ve got a new round of tariffs that go in,” said Goss. “That’s really not good. That would have some significant negative impacts on not just our economy, but economies across the globe, as trade restrictions increase. We asked the supply managers about buying from abroad. Eighty percent of the supply managers indicated that it is very important for them to be able to have access to international markets and buying from abroad.”
It may not be a large part of the economy when it comes to manufacturing, but it’s always more difficult to break in to new markets, so it’s best to keep the ones you have.