A brief look at business news in Eastern Jackson County.
New B&B opens in Independence
There’s a ribbon cutting this afternoon for a new bed-and-breakfast in one of the oldest homes in Independence.
The Silver Heart Inn and Bed & Breakfast is at 1114 S. Noland Road in a home that dates to just before the Civil War.
The ribbon cutting is at 4:30. Call the Independence Chamber of Commerce at 816-252-4745 for more information. Reach the Silver Heart Inn at 816-838-9508.
Several events set at local chamber
The Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce’s has a couple of events – one rescheduled because of the snow – coming up.
On Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., is a legislative breakfast. It’s at the Adams Pointe Conference Center, 1400 N.E. Coronado Drive. State legislators will give updates on issues in the General Assembly.
The cost is $15 for chamber members, $20 for non-members. Call the chamber, 816-229-8558, or go to www.bluespringschamber.com/
Then on April 15, the chamber holds its monthly luncheon, featuring the State of the City address by Mayor Carson Ross. That had originally been scheduled for February. This meeting is on a Monday, not the usual Thursday.
The event also is at the Adams Pointe Conference Center. The member showcase begins at 11:15 a.m., followed by registration at 11:30, the buffet at 11:45 and the program at noon. The cost is $18 for members and $23 for nonmembers. Call the chamber at 816-229-8558 for more information.
Also, the chamber is working with the chambers of commerce in Lee’s Summit, Grandview and South Kansas City for a Washington, D.C., fly-in trip.
It’s set for May 5 to 7. There’s a reception on the evening of May 5, and formal meetings begin on the morning of May 6. Call the chamber for more information.
State taps reserves
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri has used a state budget reserve fund to improve its cash flow.
The Office of Administration reported that $175 million was borrowed from the Budget Reserve Fund in March. The state now has used $375 million during the current year. All the money will be repaid by May 15.
Budget Director Linda Luebbering said Tuesday the state regularly uses the reserve fund during March. She says those who receive tax refunds frequently file faster than those who owe additional taxes.
Officials also reported Tuesday that state revenues through the first three-quarters of the fiscal year have increased 8.3 percent compared with last year.Individual tax collections are up about 5.3 percent and corporate income taxes are up 4.3 percent. Sales taxes are up less than 1 percent.
Manufacturing data suggest more growth
OMAHA, Neb.– A big jump in new orders suggests the economy is improving in nine Midwest and Plains states, but it’s too soon to say whether that trend will continue, according to a monthly survey released Monday.
Page 2 of 2 - The overall economic index for the region increased to 58.2 in March from February’s 53.1. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the increase is encouraging because any score above 50 suggests growth.
“This is the largest one-month jump that we have recorded since January 2012. However, we will have to record several consecutive months of readings like this to be confident that the regional economy is picking up steam,” said Goss, who oversees the survey.
New orders were the biggest factor in the overall index’s improvement, soaring to 65.4 in March from February’s 55, Goss said.
The survey of business leaders and supply managers uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.
The survey covers Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The Missouri overall index rose to 54.9 from 52.1 in February. Components were new orders at 56.2, production or sales at 54.0, delivery lead time at 52.8, inventories at 52.4 and employment at 58.9. Goss said growth was much stronger among durable-goods producers, such as metal manufacturers and agriculture equipment producers, than among the state’s nondurable-goods producers such as food manufacturers. Telecommunications firms are cutting jobs, he said.
The employment index for the region grew to 56.3 in March from February’s 51.6, suggesting that hiring was picking up. But Goss said the rate of hiring varies greatly across the region, with North Dakota leading the way with 5 percent job growth thanks to its oil boom. Arkansas had the slowest hiring with a growth rate of 0.2 percent.
Inflation pressure eased in March. The prices-paid index, which tracks raw materials and supply costs, declined to 64.1 in March from February’s 72.6.
The business leaders surveyed are feeling better about their prospects in the next six months, the report said. The confidence index improved to 58.2 in March from February’s 50.6.
Businesses have been adding to their inventory levels in anticipation of stronger sales. The inventory index grew to 58.1 in March from February’s 52.2.
“This is another indicator of improving business confidence,” Goss said.
The other components of the overall March index were:
• Export orders at 50.9, up from February’s 49.2.
• Import orders at 55, up from 53.7 in February.
• Production or sales at 62.4, up from February’s 55.5.
• Delivery lead time at 49, down from 51.1.