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Business index down slightly in Utah

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1 2012 1:51 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Business Conditions Index remained above growth neutral 50.0, despite a slight decline, according to a new report.

Based on the monthly survey of the membership of the Institute for Supply Management-Utah, the overall index for October slipped to 60.1 from September’s 61.7. Components of the index were new orders at 56.4, production or sales at 69.8, delivery lead time at 54.4, inventories at 63.2, and employment at 56.6.

“Gains continued at a healthy pace for durable goods producers. However, growth for non-durable goods manufacturers slowed for the month,” said Ernie Goss, director of the Goss Institute for Economic Research at Creighton University. The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group has conducted the monthly survey of supply managers in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming since 1994 to produce leading economic indicators of the Mountain States region.

The overall index, referred to as the Business Conditions Index, ranges from 0 to 100, and is a mathematical average of new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time. An index greater than 50 indicates an expansionary economy over the course of the next three to six months.

For the 36th straight month, the overall index for the three-state Mountain States region advanced above growth neutral. After moving below growth neutral for June, July and August, the national Purchasing Management Index rose above 50.0 for September. The index advanced to a healthy 58.6, but down from September’s 61.0, the report stated.

“Improvements in the housing sector and expansions linked to energy pushed the index into a healthy range for October,” Goss said. “The region continues to grow at a pace significantly above that of the U.S. with the October index for the nation coming in at 51.7.”

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