Midwest Economy
10:30 am
Mon January 3, 2011

Continued Midwestern economic growth suggested by survey

A survey says that economic growth in the Midwest will continue into the first half of the new year, but what does that really mean?

The Belleville News Democrat reports, via the Associated Press, that the Business Conditions Index for the region rose to 57.5 in December, the 13th consecutive month the number has been above growth neutral.

But how does the "Business Conditions Index" work?

According to the paper, "The survey and report use a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Organizers said any score above 50 suggests economic growth in the next three to six months, while a score below 50 suggests a contracting economy."

So, yes, our region is expected to have continued economic growth. But what does that mean for jobs?

The paper explains via Ernie Goss, a Creighton University economics professor who oversees the survey.

 

According to the survey data, only 24 percent of the companies surveyed expect to raise payroll numbers. Goss said the remaining 76 percent anticipate layoffs or level employment for the first half of the year.

"Despite this somewhat negative employment outlook, I expect the nine-state region to add almost 100,000 jobs for the first half of 2011, or a 1.2 percent annualized pace," Goss said. "This pace is a half percentage point above what I expect for the national economy."