(DENVER, Colo) –The overall index for the Mountain States region for October, a leading economic indicator for the three-state area of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, declined to a level pointing to much slower growth for the next 3 to 6 months. The overall index, or Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, declined to 50.1 from 51.0 in September. An index of 50.0 is considered growth neutral. “This month the federal shutdown, a pullback in export orders and slower growth in the energy sector more than offset improving construction activity in the region” Goss Institute for Economic Research Director Dr. Ernie Goss said. The monthly hiring gauge rose for the month, but remained below growth neutral for the month. The index rose to 49.2 from September’s 48.3. “Manufacturers linked to agriculture and energy are growing at a slower pace than this time last year. On the other hand, metal producers and food processing firms are also expanding at a solid pace,” said Goss. Looking ahead six months, economic optimism, as captured by the business confidence index, slumped to 41.9 from September’s 42.2. “While we conducted all surveys after the debt ceiling and federal shutdown skirmishes had ended, they clearly had a dampening impact on business confidence,” said Goss.
For the state of Utah, the state’s overall index, or Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator, slipped below growth neutral 50.0 for the month. Based on the monthly survey of the membership of ISM-Utah (www.ismutah.org), the overall index for October declined to 50.9 from 52.2 in September. Components of the Business Conditions Index for October were new orders at 46.7, production or sales at 43.9, delivery lead time at 57.4, inventories at 51.9, and employment at 49.3. “Energy firms and companies providing support for the energy sector experienced pullbacks for the month. Manufacturing firms are growing output without adding to employment," said Goss.
For Wyoming the state’s leading economic indicator from a survey of supply managers in the state has now climbed above growth neutral 50.0 for 48 straight months. The index, termed the Business Conditions Index, rose to 55.8 from 54.8 in September. Supported by NAPM-Western Wyoming