If the experts have any influence, the Midwest is about to become a bourgeoning economic powerhouse. And based on the current outlook of business managers located in the Midwest, that time could be soon.
According to a recent Forbes article, the Midwest has all the ingredients it needs to both nurture a growing startup base and expand the growth of some of the nation’s largest stalwart companies.
Those ingredients include cheap, nearby energy resources, access to a strong transportation infrastructure and a highly trained workforce. Add to that a renewed urban culture that is growing in many of the first and second-tier cities across the Midwest, drawing Millennial workers from the coasts, and there’s reason to believe the outlook for economies across the Midwest will continue to shine.
Look at many of the city rankings and you’ll see cities like Des Moines, Sioux Falls, Omaha, Minneapolis and Kansas City sprinkled throughout. Best Place to Raise a Family. Best Place to Start Your Career. Best Place to Start a Business. The Midwest is being rediscovered and a highly educated workforce is being drawn to its simpler, friendlier lifestyle and away from the coastal cities.
In fact, California’s position as the 8th largest economy in the world is eclipsed by the Midwest’s #5 ranking. That puts the Midwest economy bigger than those of Brazil, Russia and India. And the Midwest graduates more computer science degrees than any other in the world. The potential is tremendous, but when does that potential turn into reality?
Considering latest reports from Creighton University’s Mid-American Economy report, it may have already started. The report, released February 1, indicates business confidence is up significantly over even just the last two months - with overall business conditions confidence index up almost seven points in just the past couple months. That’s despite an ag economy that is still struggling. According to the report, the research index has seen significant increases in employment, wholesale prices and production/sales.
Business inventories and international trade are areas of growing concern, partly a result of how the new administration’s proposed changes will impact trade and the value of the dollar.
The few negatives that have caused the Midwest to lag are likely to improve with some clarity of policies going forward. And, if the soft spots in the Midwest economy start to come around, there’s potential to see a robust Midwest growth pattern for several years ahead.
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