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New economic indicators show potential for Missouri


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Economic Development released a few new economic indicators Monday, which told of some good news for the state’s manufacturing industry.

The state’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) spiked to 57 in May, its highest mark since August 2014, according to the Institute for Supply Management

PMI measures the economic health of the manufacturing sector using a combination of factors like new orders, production, supplier delivery times, backlogs, inventories, prices, employment, import orders and export, and any figure over 50 represents an expansion in the manufacturing sector from the previous marking. Missouri spiked 6.9 points from April, and it was at its lowest point in the last two years in December of 2014, when it sank all the way to 40.

The score had slumped steadily for two years before it hit that rock bottom number. However, just five months later, it looks well on the way to recovery.

Missouri’s PMI also beat some of its closest neighbors. The state had the highest index of any Midwestern state west of the Mississippi River, beating out the Dakotas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. Missouri also topped the national average, which was 51.3 percent.

Missouri’s cost of living was also recorded as one of the lowest in the nation for the first quarter of 2016. With a cost of living index of just 91 (down from 91.5 in Q1 2015), the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center found that Missouri had the 11th lowest cost of living in the United States. Coastal states, like California, Oregon, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts, were the most expensive, whereas Southern and Midwestern states like Mississippi, Indiana Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas, had the cheapest cost of living.

The six participating metro areas in Missouri that determined the index, Joplin, Springfield, St. Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson City and Columbia all had scores under the national average. Columbia has the highest cost of living in the state with an index score of 98.5, and Joplin has the lowest at 87.1.