A new survey of business leaders suggests the economy will continue growing in nine Midwestern and Plains states in the months ahead.
The monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 57.7 last month, compared with 53.2 in December.
Looking six months ahead, the business confidence index dropped to a still-strong 62.2, from 66.5 in December.
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.