Mountain states economy growing slowly

Inflationary pressures remained elevated while the overall index for the Mountain States region slipped.

The overall Business Conditions Index dipped to 63.3 from September’s 64.8 and August’s 77.7, according to the October Business Conditions survey of supply managers and business leaders in the three-state region.

The employment index for the region plummeted to a still healthy 60.6 from September’s 70.

The prices-paid index, which tracks the cost of raw materials and supplies, dipped to a still elevated 79.4 from September’s 80. Pushed higher by rising oil prices, the inflation gauge indicates elevated pressures in the economic pipeline.

While the Federal Reserve reduced short-term interest rates on Oct. 31, excessive inflationary pressures will prevent the Federal Reserve from being too aggressive with its rate reductions.

Looking ahead six months, supply managers’ economic optimism, listed in the confidence index, declined to 50, down from September’s 60.