The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, is above growth neutral for the 21st straight month.
The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100 with 50 representing growth neutral, climbed to 64.0 from January’s 56.2.
After three straight months of declines, the regional employment index jumped to a solid 56.6 from 43.6 in January.
Looking ahead six months, economic optimism tumbled to a record low of 19.5, and down from 36.2 in January.
That is it’s lowest level since the survey began in 1994.
The Kansas Business Conditions Index for February rose to 62.1 from 53.0 in January.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, nondurable goods manufacturers in Kansas, including food processors, have expanded at a solid pace, while durable goods producers, including transportation equipment manufacturers have experienced pullbacks in economic activity.