Coronavirus Affecting the Business Outlook in Midwest and Plains States
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Worries about a new virus that's infected tens of thousands of people globally are making a mark on the economy of a nine-state region in the Midwest and Plains.
A new survey report says the Mid-American Business Conditions Index sank in February to 52.8 from 57.2 in January. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the softer reading and the economic harm from the virus should concern policymakers. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below suggests a decline.
There’s an apparent upside to all the fears about coronavirus, as it’s bringing a drop in gasoline prices in Iowa and across the U.S.
With tens of millions of people quarantined in China, fuel consumption has dropped dramatically there, sending demand falling on world markets. Rose White, at AAA Iowa, says crude oil prices have dropped $9 a barrel in the past two weeks. China is one of the world’s top petroleum users, so with much of that nation grinding to a halt, global demand for gas has dropped significantly.
White says just over the weekend, the price dropped another five-cents a gallon with unleaded averaging $2.27 across the state.”
Metro Sioux City has reclaimed the top spot on Site Selection's list of the small-size metro area with the most economic development projects.
Sioux City had 18 new or expanded corporate facilities in the category for metros with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 in 2019, according to the national trade publication.
It's the eighth time since 2007 the metro area has been No. 1 on the annual list.