For the first time in nearly two years, the overall Business Conditions Index for a nine-state region of the Midwest and Plains took a negative turn. But Minnesota's performance outpaced the region.
Tuesday's report on the survey of supply managers and executives says the index dropped to 49.9 in October, compared with 52.2 in September.
Organizers say any survey score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor. Meanwhile, Minnesota's score rose above 55.
Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, said bright spots for Minnesota include agriculture, food processing and medical equipment and devices.
"What we're seeing in Minnesota is growth connected to the durable goods sector and exports," he said.
Over the next six months, Goss said Minnesota's economy should grow, but the state will add jobs at a slower-than-normal pace.
"What we're going to need to see in Minnesota -- and for that matter the region and the nation -- is some settlement of the volatility in Europe. Secondly, though, we've got to see the housing sector turn around," he said.
For the region as a whole, Goss said one reading slightly below a growth-neutral 50 doesn't signal a recession. But he added that the October figure is evidence that the weakness in the national economy has hit the regional economy.
The states covered by the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)