A June business conditions index for nine Midwestern states climbed to its highest overall reading since March 2011, and Iowa's reading in that index was also up from May.


The Mid-America Business Conditions Index was 60.6 for the nine-state area.


The index is compiled by the Creighton University economist Ernie Goss by surveying supply managers on five factors: new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time. An index reading above 50 indicates an expanding economy over the next three to six months.  


In Iowa, the index came in at a June reading of 67.8, up from 66.5 in May and above the reading for the overall nine-state area. 


Three of the five index factors were up for the month in Iowa: new orders, production or sales, and delivery lead time. Employment and inventories were down slightly, though Goss still recognized Iowa's employment situation as strong in remarks in the index report.


"There are more workers on Iowa payrolls than ever before. Our surveys indicate this expansion will continue," Goss wrote. "However China's recent decision to reject the importation of U.S. dried distillers' grains, due to concerns over bioengineered corn, is a risk to the state's large bioenergy sector, especially if other nations follow suit." (For more information on China's decision, click here.)


Compared with other states, Iowa trailed only Minnesota and South Dakota in the June index.