The Midwest Manufacturing Index has been below neutral for the second consecutive month, according to Creighton University economist Dr. Ernie Goss. This is a change from the previous five months, during which the index was above growth neutral. Hiring in the Midwest remains in a slump as employers struggle to find suitable candidates for their operations. Dr. Goss predicts that inflation will continue to rise as government spending increases. Additionally, he believes that the slowing world economy will have a negative impact on the US economy. Although Iowa’s business conditions index remained below growth neutral in August, it did show improvement compared to July. Iowa manufacturers reported an increase in exports from 7.7 billion dollars in the middle of last year to 8.6 billion dollars a year later.