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Economic Growth Strong In Oklahoma's 9-State Region, According To Survey


A leading business survey indicates strong growth continuing for the next several months and an economy returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index ticked up from 72.3 in May to 73.5 in June. Numbers above 50 on the zero to 100 scale indicate growth. The index hit a record 73.9 in April.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey and said workers are hard to come by, but manufacturers are hiring.

"Regional employment still is about 4.1% below pre-pandemic levels. U.S. employment’s about 5% below pre-pandemic levels. Uh, 53% of our supply managers indicated that they will continue to hire and increase hiring for the rest of 2021. None, 0%, expect layoffs," Goss said.

Goss said he expects strong growth to continue in the region despite some supply managers reporting major challenges.

"The No. 1 challenge for 2021 remains supply chain bottlenecks. Disruptions, for example, transportation issues – getting trucks in and out, rail in and out. No. 2 was rising input prices. We’re seeing input prices, at least at the wholesale level, busting and breaking all records that we recorded here at Creighton University over the last 30 years," Goss said.

The report’s inflation gauge climbed to another new record in June, up to 98.4 from May’s 96.3.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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