Creighton University economist, Ernie Goss says his survey of business managers saw the midwest drop to its lowest level since May. Goss says the numbers show the economy still isn’t on firm ground yet. He says the economic recovery we are in is “very fragile” and there is the possibility of dipping back into “recessionary territory.”

Goss gauges the economy in the survey on a scale of zero to 100, with a score above 50 indicating economic growth. The midwest scored 47.5 in the November survey, while Iowa did a bit better. Goss says the numbers were above growth neutral for Iowa, coming off some negative growth numbers, which he says is promising. Goss says consumers and businesses are taking a “wait and see” approach to spending, which doesn’t help the economy.

Goss says that’s not what we need to see, he says one thing the economy needs is more certainty and clarity out of Washington. He says there’s been rumors of more government incentive programs, such as “cash for caulking.” Goss says that is a concern because people will wait to spend to see if there is a new federal program that will give them money. Goss says the employment outlook in the midwest hasn’t gotten much better.

He says businesses right now are hiring temporary workers, which he says is a good signal, but he says we need to see those temporary workers become permanent workers. Goss says there are still job losses and he doesn’t see any real new hiring until well into 2010. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.