An economic index from nine Midwest and Plains states including Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas rose for the first time last month since March, The Associated press reports.
Compiled from a survey of business leaders in the states, the Mid-America Business Conditions Index made slight gains to 53.8 in August from 53.5 in July.
Survey administrator Ernie Goss, an economist from Creighton University, says August numbers point to growth for the final quarter of the year. Despite the gains, the growth was only about half the rate of the first quarter, he said.
Results of the survey are compiled and assigned a number in the index, which ranges from zero to 100. A score above 50 suggests growth and a number below 50 suggest decline, The AP says.
Other states included in the survey include Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
According to Creighton University, July's index of 53.5 was down from June's reading of 55.6.