Midwestern Businesses Hit By Falling International Sales

Aug 1, 2017

A monthly survey of business leaders suggests that in Kansas and other Midwestern and Great Plains states, business conditions worsened slightly in July, but should improve.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index dipped by 6 points in July, falling to 56.6. Overall, the survey's index range is from 0 to 100; an index greater than 50 indicates an expanding economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says most of the pullbacks in July are due to international sales.

"Japan just announced that they're going to raise a tariff on imported U.S. beef, and that’s frozen beef," Goss says. "Kansas is number 4 in the nation in terms of that, so that’s going to have a fairly negative impact on Kansas and Nebraska, two states that lead in those sales in Japan."

Goss says China's agreement to begin importing U.S. beef may make up for Japan's tariff hike. He says he expects the numbers to improve this year with competitive interest rates and low inflation.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

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