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Experts: Midwest Economy Slowed by Shutdown

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- A business conditions index for nine Midwest and Plains states has dropped after rising the previous two months.
   The overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index plunged to a growth neutral 50.0 in October from 54.8 in September.
   Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the partial government shutdown and slower business activity for firms tied to agriculture pushed overall economic conditions lower for the month.
   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.

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