OMAHA (AP) — A monthly survey of business supply managers released Monday suggested the economy continues to grow in nine Midwest and Plains states, but an economist said the spreading coronavirus outbreak could soon threaten that growth.

The Mid-America Business Conditions index jumped to 57.2 in January from 50.6 in December, the survey report said. The November figure was 48.6. The January figure was the highest since March 2019.

The report said the jump, plus January’s signing of the U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement on trade and the “phase one” trade agreement with China, bodes well for the regional manufacturing economy. However, the survey was conducted before much of the bad news about the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China was reported.

“The negative impacts from this virus could place significant negative pressure on the regional economy in the weeks ahead,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

The regional trade numbers were mixed, according to the report. The index for new export orders soared to 52.1 from December’s weak 43.5. The regional imports index sank to 46.3 from December’s 52.0.

The two new trade agreements boosted the regional business confidence, however. The index rose to 58.8 from December’s 57.6.

The January employment index increased to 53.8 from December’s four-year low of 45.6. In past months, job growth was held in check by the trade constraints and the lack of available workers.

“January’s positive employment reading was a positive and unexpected outcome,” Goss said.

Here are the state-by-state results for January:

Iowa: Iowa’s overall index jumped in January to 55.7, compared with 50.9 in December. Index components were new orders at 60.8, production or sales at 53.1, delivery lead time at 53.6, employment at 53.5 and inventories at 57.7. Average hourly wages for private workers in Iowa rose 3% over the past 12 months, the survey report said. “Manufacturers closely linked to agriculture continue to experience slow to no growth,” he said.

Kansas: The state’s January index climbed to 58.4 from December’s 52.1. Kansas index components were new orders at 65.6, production or sales at 56.9, delivery lead time at 54.4, employment at 54.7 and inventories at 60.4. Average hourly wages for private workers in Kansas rose by 4.3% over the past 12 months, the report said. Both durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers are expanding at a slow pace, the report said. “Even aircraft component manufacturers continue to expand despite Boeing’s problems,” Goss said.

Minnesota: Minnesota’s overall index soared to 57.9 from 50.7 in December. Index components were new orders at 64.1, production or sales at 57.3, delivery lead time at 54.1, inventories at 59.5 and employment at 54.3. Average hourly wages for private workers in Minnesota rose by 4.5% over the past 12 months, the survey report said. Durable-goods manufacturers in the state are shedding jobs, while nondurable-goods manufacturers continue to add jobs at a slow pace, he said.

Missouri: The state’s overall index rose to 56.2 from December’s 50.5. Missouri’s index components were new orders at 59.3, production or sales at 58.7, delivery lead time at 53.3, inventories at 56.8 and employment at 53.1. Average hourly wages for private workers in Missouri rose by 3.5% over the past 12 months, the report said. “Nondurable-goods manufacturers are expanding at a solid pace, while durable-goods producers are experiencing pullbacks in economic activity,” said Goss.

Nebraska: Nebraska’s overall index jumped 6.7 percentage points to hit 58.8, compared with 52.1 in December. Index components were new orders at 68.0, production or sales at 53.9, delivery lead time at 54.8, inventories at 61.7 and employment at 55.3. Average hourly wages for private workers in Nebraska rose by 5.2% over the past 12 months, the report said. “Nondurable-goods manufacturers in the state are expanding at a solid pace, while durable-goods producers are experiencing slight to no growth,” he said.

South Dakota: The South Dakota overall index rocketed to a regional high of 59.3 from December’s 52.3. Index components were new orders at 68.2, production or sales at 56.2, delivery lead time at 54.9, inventories at 61.8 and employment at 55.4. Average hourly wages for private workers in South Dakota rose by 3.3% over the past 12 months, the report said. “Both durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers in the state are expanding at a slow but positive pace,” he said.

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