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Yule preparations boosted region's economy in August

Manufacturers in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming are beginning to gear up for the Christmas buying season, and that boosted the region's economy in August, according to a survey by Omaha-based Creighton University.

The Mountain States Business Conditions Index, compiled by economics professor Ernie Goss, was 55.4, up from 54 in August.The index is derived from a monthly survey of purchasing managers in the three states. It ranges from 0 to 100, with numbers greater than 50 indicating growth and numbers below 50 indicating decline. "Overall, the mountain states economy looks very good," Goss said. "We are seeing an uptick in growth resulting from manufacturers producing goods for the Christmas buying season, which unless we see significant changes in the economy, looks as though it will be strong."

Utah's index increased, from 50 in August to 53.5 in September.

"I think we are seeing healthy levels of growth in the Utah economy," said Goss, "with Christmas shopping season orders to manufacturers giving the economy a little boost."

The Utah new orders index for September was at 50 for the month, up from 43.8 in August. The stte's production index was 54.8, up from August's 50.

Wyoming's index fell - from 67.9 in August to 65.7 in September, but Goss said the state's manufacturing sector continued to perform better than in the past and continued to show healthy growth.

Colorado's index in September was 53.8, up slightly from 53 in August.