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Midwest Biz Conditions Improve

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- A monthly economic report says business conditions in nine Midwestern states improved slightly in November.
   The Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to a tepid 51.2 on a growth scale of 0 to 100. The index was growth-neutral in October at 50.0, the lowest level since 2012.
   Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the region's heavy manufacturers reported solid increases in new export orders in November. The region's employment gauge also jumped to 51.2 in November, from 48.2 the previous month. Goss attributes the October downturn to the federal government's partial shutdown.
   States included in the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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