OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of business leaders suggests the economy will continue slowing in nine Midwest and Plains states, in part because of manufacturing weakness.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report released Tuesday says the overall economic index for the region dropped to 43.8 in October from September's 45.5.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says "weakness among manufacturers linked to agriculture and energy continue to weigh on regional economic conditions."

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor. 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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