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Mid-America Economy Looks Strong: Inflation Starting to Play a Role

Creighton University

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index is pointing to solid economic gains ahead. Inflation is also soaring.

The monthly report from Creighton University is at a healthy 58.2, above the growth neutral mark of 50 for the tenth straight month. The man who compiles the survey of supply managers in nine states, economist Ernie Goss, says he’s keeping an eye on job numbers released later this week to see what they say about wage increases.

“Everybody focuses on jobs, look at the wage number," Goss says. "That tells us about inflation. It’s been growing at 2 ½ percent year over year, moving up to 2 ½ to 3.”

Goss predicts prices will continue to rise, especially in the construction industry after three devastating hurricanes.

“They’re going to be rebuilding in Houston, rebuilding in South Florida, we’re going to be rebuilding in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and that takes building supplies down there, and that’s just going to push prices up even more,” he says.

Iowa’s index is above the Mid-America average at 60.7.