Economy slowing in 9 Midwest, Plains states

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new monthly survey suggests the economy in nine Midwest and Plains states will continue to slow down but continue growing even as Europe’s woes persist.

The region’s overall economic index dipped to 57.2 in June from May’s 57.6 and April’s 60. Any score above 50 suggests growth.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says businesses in the region are still benefiting from healthy farm income and exports, but the activity is slowing.

Global economic problems are hurting export orders.

Hiring remains strong in the region as the employment index climbed to 61.8 from May’s 61.2.

A quarter of the managers surveyed say the biggest hurdle in the next year is implementation of health care reform.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.