Despite the doom-and-gloom talk of some politicians, the Midwestern economy is booming, according to the latest regional survey of business leaders and supply managers by Creighton University. Economist Jim Knudsen says economic indicators for the nine-state region are at the highest level in the ten-plus years the monthly survey’s been conducted. Knudsen says “Iowa is one of the highlights of the regions — one of the bright spots.” The business conditions index for Iowa is, like the Midwest, at its highest point since the survey was first done in 1994. He says numbers for production and new orders are very strong. U.S. Labor Bureau statistics show some 35-thousand jobs have been created in Iowa during the first three months of 2004, which Knudsen says is among the best in the region. Knudsen says the gains Iowa’s seeing will likely continue for another two quarters, at least, though it may be at a slightly slower pace.