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Plains Economy Still Appears Strong

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- A new monthly business survey suggests the economy in nine Midwestern and Plains states should continue growing steadily in the months ahead.
   The region's overall economic index crept up to 60.6 in June from May's 60.5 to hit another three-year high.
   Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the report offers plenty of reasons to be optimistic because the job market is strong and businesses report solid new orders.
   The survey results from supply managers 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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