Arkansas, Midwest U.S. Economic Growth Stalls In August Amid Tariff, Trade Turmoil

Talk Business & Politics

LITTLE ROCK (TB&P) — The highly watched economic indicator for Arkansas and several other midwest states slumped to its lowest level in nearly three years amid concerns that ongoing tariffs and trade issues are being fully absorbed into the U.S. economy.

Creighton University’s Mid-America Business Conditions Index for August reported Tuesday (Sept. 3) that the regional indicator fell below growth neutral for the first time since November 2016.

The economic snapshot, which ranges between 0 and 100, slumped to 49.3 from July’s 52.0. After 32 straight months of above growth neutral readings, the region’s overall index moved below 50.0 in August.

The August score for Arkansas fell to 48.2 from July’s 51.0.  Components of the index from the monthly survey of supply managers were new orders at 45.9, production or sales at 52.4, delivery lead time at 58.8, inventories at 41.6, and employment at 42.3.

“U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that Arkansas manufacturing workers ranked second in the nine-state region with a 5.8% increase in hourly earnings over the past 12 months,” said Goss.

“In terms of job growth, both durable and nondurable manufacturers in the state experienced solid growth over the past 12 months. However, the state’s manufacturing sector lost jobs in August …”

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