Midwest Economic Report Forecasts Possible Slump for Region, Arkansas - Innovate Arkansas
Midwest Economic Report Forecasts Possible Slump for Region, Arkansas
By Associated Press, 12/3/2012 10:24:00 AM
A monthly economic index report suggests an economic slump will continue over the next three to six months for nine Midwest and Plains states, including Arkansas.
The Mid-America Business Conditions index rose slightly in November to a weak 48.0 from 46.5 in October. The figure was 50.4 in September.
The survey of business leaders and supply managers uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says it is tracking "economic weakness, particularly for nondurable-goods producers."
In Arkansas, the November overall index rose to a weak 45.4 from 42.3 in October. Components of the index were new orders at 39.6, production or sales at 41.9, delivery lead time at 50.1, inventories at 50.1 and employment at 45.0. Arkansas has lost manufacturing jobs in 2012.
However, said Goss, the losses in the state's nondurable-goods sector were almost equal to the gain for the state's durable-goods producers. "Our November survey indicates that pullbacks among nondurables continue to outweigh advances for durable-goods manufacturers," he said.
The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The firm's growth was bolstered by an $82,000 investment from the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority's Seed Capital Investment Program. That investment preceded a $550,000 funding round.
Sales tax is Noel Hamm's art, and Sales Tax DataLink, the Innovate Arkansas client startup based in Bentonville, is his medium. Hamm is having some fun and even more success with sales tax, and his innovations are helping businesses experience less headaches because of it.
Ways to address a growing manufacturing skills gap was the focus of Tuesday's "Jobs Now: Arkansas Works When We Do" summit hosted by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.
Wal-Mart is launching a mobile checking account for its customers that will eliminate some of the fees charged by banks.