Undated (KROC-AM News) -- A respected economic report shows growing optimism about the manufacturing sector of Minnesota’s economy.

The latest Mid-America Business Conditions Survey of supply managers put the state’s

overall index for February at 52.1. That’s up 2 percentage points from January and signals an expectation of modest growth in coming months. Late last year, the index dropped well into the range that predicted a contraction among Minnesota manufacturers because of slower exports.

According to the author of the report, the latest numbers indicate the manufacturing sector is now gaining jobs at a slow pace, while the overall state economy is expected to see moderate job gains through the second quarter of this year.