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(Omaha) (AP) – A new survey of business leaders suggests the economy will continue growing in nine Midwest and Plains states through the rest of 2013 but at a slower pace than earlier this year.

The survey’s overall economic index rose to 53.8 in August from July’s 53.5.

Any score above 50 suggests growth, but Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says he expects the growth rate to be about half the rate the region recorded in the first quarter.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth, while a score below that suggests decline.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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