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Mid America index reaches highest point in 16 years

The October Mid-America Regional Business Conditions index was at its highest point in 16 years.

The index – published by Creighton University economics professor Dr. Ernie Goss – surveys purchasing managers in a 9 state region, which includes North Dakota. For October, the index was 70.2. That’s up from September’s 65.1. Any index over 50 indicates economic growth.

For North Dakota, the index is 59.0 – up from September’s 55.6.

Goss said the economy is rebounding from the lows earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic grew.

"Overall, we're seeing the economy continuing to expand," Goss said. "The negatives are getting less negative."

Goss said the economy is still below pre-COVID-19 levels.

"About 4-5 percent below those levels," Goss said.

Goss also predicts a continued rebound.

"It's just not going to be what some are expecting," Goss said. "They're expecting a V-shaped recovery, but it's gfoing to be more of a check-mark or Nike swoosh."

And if there are more “lockdowns” because of COVID, Goss said it would be a very tough hurdle for the US economy.

Goss said he does expect Congress to pass another stimulus package, either in the “Lame Duck’ session right after the election, or when the new session starts in January.

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