Midwest Memo, June 1, 2011

Five must-read stories about the Midwest economy

1) Exporting to economic growth. A study released today on nine Midwestern states shows that exports are helping to revive the economy.

Exports are helping the Midwest economy

Creighton University’s Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region rose to 60.2, from 57.7 in April. The index is a survey of supply managers and purchasing executives, who rate the economy on a scale of zero to 100. Anything above 50 reflects growth in the next three to six months.

2) From yachts to wind. The recession forced many small manufacturers to find new products to make in an attempt to survive. Tiara Yachts, a Michigan manufacturer, is taking risks to keep its factory open and employees on the job. Lindsay Smith of our partner station Michigan Radio looked at the company.

3) Cruising to Detroit. In another boat related story, Detroit is about to open a new cruise ship terminal. The $22 million project, paid for with mostly federal dollars, expects at least two boats to pay call this summer. But some in the city question whether it was a wise move. Here is the story from Marketplace.

4) Pay for performance. Ohio lawmakers are working on the state’s new budget, and the Ohio Senate is looking at a plan that would give $115 million more over the next two years to better-performing schools. The latest proposal also┬ámakes charter schools more accountable for funds they would receive. Our partner ideastream looked at the debate.

Farmers markets are in full swing

5) Farmers market innovations. Farmers market season is in full swing across the region. Tonight, the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market will hold a special evening session, a pilot for a Wednesday night project that may kick off this summer. In Chicago, more farmers are accepting food stamps. Natalie Moore from our partner WBEZ reported on the trend.







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