Midwest Economy Improving

A survey of supply managers and other business executives in nine Midwest and Plains states suggests that the regional economy has bottomed out. The Mid-America Business Conditions index rose to 46.6 in May, compared with 42.7 in April and 39.7 in March.

It was the index's fifth straight monthly increase. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss says an index of 50 is considered growth neutral. He says the past few months' readings indicate that the regional economy has hit bottom, but he sees few signs of a turnaround in the next few months. The survey states are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.