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Mid-America Business Conditions Index Shows South Dakota Sagging

Creighton University's Heider College of Business has issued its December 2014 Mid-America Business Conditions Index. Dr. Ernie Goss and his Creighton associations survey purchasing managers in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. They index responses on a scale of 0 to 100; under 50 means a sluggish economy over the next three to six months, while over 50 means a growing economy.

The regional index has been beating 50 since January 2013. Let's look at how South Dakota compared to the region and to Minnesota in 2014:

Overall Index, Mid-America Business Conditions Index, 2014 for region, South Dakota, and Minnesota

New Orders, Mid-America Business Conditions Index, 2014 for region, South Dakota, and Minnesota

Production, Mid-America Business Conditions Index, 2014 for region, South Dakota, and Minnesota

Delivery Lead Time, Mid-America Business Conditions Index, 2014 for region, South Dakota, and Minnesota

Employment, Mid-America Business Conditions Index, 2014 for region, South Dakota, and Minnesota

Inventories, Mid-America Business Conditions Index, 2014 for region, South Dakota, and Minnesota


(The inventories index gauges inventories of raw materials and supplies. Larger inventories mean purchasing managers expect higher sales.)

On the overall MABCI, South Dakota spent most of the first half of the year looking better to purchasing managers than the regional average. South Dakota slid hard in July and finished the year just a tick below the regional overall index. On the five metrics that Goss breaks down by state, South Dakota finished ahead of the region on production and delivery lead time but below the region on new orders, employment, and inventories.

South Dakota's favorite measuring stick for economic performance and fiscal policy, Minnesota, started the year even with the region on the overall MABCI and stayed above average every month after that. Minnesota finished the year ahead of the regional MABCI in new orders, production, and inventories, close on employment, and a couple ticks below on delivery lead time.

On every metric but delivery lead time, Minnesota is beating South Dakota. Hmm... that seems like more evidence that Daugaardonomics is not working for South Dakota.

Possibly related: Minnesota lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do with a one-billion-dollar budget surplus.


  1. Tim 2015.01.03

    I read where the Wisconsin Governor was looking to cut taxes there again even though his state faces a 2.2 billion dollar deficit, I wonder what keeps Daugaard from doing that to us? I will bet Minnesotans will find some good to do for the people there with that extra money.

  2. Jenny 2015.01.03

    Gov Dayton has already mentioned more money for education. There was a two year tuition freeze for the state universities here in MN and they are going to working on another freeze again I've heard.

  3. jerry 2015.01.03

    Don't worry about Dummy Daugaard, he will find a way to screw us even further. Medicaid Expansion is chump change to a chump.

  4. scott 2015.01.03

    this report is all lies. per mike huether and denny daugaard, we are the envy of the nation.

  5. rufusx 2015.01.03

    This is reflected in the slowing down of my delivery business vs. last two years.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.03

    John Tsitrian adds a very sharp critique of the Creighton/Goss numbers above, noting that they don't appear to take sufficient account of agricultural prices and output. Tsitrian says that if Governor Daugaard has based economic projections on these data, he has made serious mistakes in both the FY2012 budget austerity and the current budget proposal.

  7. CLCJM 2015.01.03

    Dudley Do-wrong making a mistake on the 2012 austerity budget and again in the current one? Oh, what heresy, Cory. How could that be? Why he's an economic genius! Or not.

  8. Les 2015.01.03

    Current ag commodities are in the tank with the exception of beef which often runs in opposition to grains. Beef is at all time highs, not something which can be said for grains.
    Inventories do not always represent optimistic sales predictions. They can represent pessimism in future costs of product.

  9. larry kurtz 2015.01.03

    South Dakota: Fringe Banking R Us

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.03

    CLCJM, I've been reading that demand for beef will be declining more and more. Who is it that makes diet recommendations? You know, the food pyramid that is now a plate?

    Anyway, they are considering recommending specific foods, rather than simply proteins. They are taking environmental issues into account. On that basis they are discouraging beef because it has a significantly bigger carbon footprint than pork, chicken, eggs, turkey, beans, etc.

    Not good for ranchers and farmers. Not good for SD's economy.

  11. Deb, could you post a link to the beef article(s) you've been reading?

  12. CLCJM 2015.01.05

    I know, Deb, I grew up on a farm so hate to see farmers get hurt. My folks were pretty driven off their farm by the FHA because they'd had most of their acreage in the Soil Bank for 10 years. After 10 years of not farming, they had no machinery and wanted to rent their land out but the FHA said no. So I really empathize with farmers. But the way we do things has affects on others and the planet. Hopefully, we can find ways to raise meat that are healthy and viable for farmers, consumers and the environment and our economy.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.05

    Heidi, here is the link from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper:

    I agree CLCJM, the government and banks both were not helpful to farmers. We had land in the soil bank program too, though we also had active cropland. Bankers urged farmers to take on lots of debt and get bigger and bigger. Didn't work for my family either.

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