(AP News Omaha, NE October 2, 2021) A new monthly survey of business leaders in nine Midwest and Plains states shows their confidence in the economy over the next six months plummeted to its lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. The overall index for September of the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions released Friday dropped to 61.6 from August’s 68.9. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth. But the survey’s business confidence index, which looks ahead six months, fell more than 16 points to 37 from August’s 53.5. The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.