Economist: Midwest economy shows improvement

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A survey of business leaders in nine Midwestern and Plains states - including Oklahoma - suggests the region's economy continues to show signs of improvement, but job losses persist.

The Mid-America Business Conditions index released Wednesday rose to its highest level since September of last year, to 49.3 in June from 46.6 in May.

The survey's index ranges between 0 and 100, and any score below 50 on the index suggests a contracting economy over the next three to six months.

While the increase was the index's fifth straight jump, it also shows the region lost jobs for the 17th time in the past 18 months.

Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss says that as in past recessions, "job creation is just not in the picture for the immediate future."

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