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Midwest Economy Showing Improvement

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- An economic index compiled from a survey of business leaders in nine Midwest and Plains states rose slightly last month, the first increase since March.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index hit 53.8 in August, compared with 53.5 in July.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the results point to growth for the final quarter of this year but at about half the rate of the first quarter.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth, while a score below that suggests decline.

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

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