A survey suggests that rising fuel prices haven't slowed the economy in a nine-state region in the Midwest and Plains.
The overall Mid-America index rose to 58.6 in March from 58.4 in February. The index has risen for five months in a row.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says only a significantly higher increase in oil prices or a major world catastrophe would derail the regional economic expansion.
Survey organizers say it uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100 and that any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor. The survey of business leaders and supply managers covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.