Iowa’s economy is very strong going into 2005, but a new survey indicates there may be a few troubles on the horizon that could slow things down mid-year. The monthly survey from Creighton University finds Iowa’s January numbers looking favorable, according to economist Ernie Goss. He projects vigorous growth for the first half of 2005. Goss says the growth will be solid for the state with good reports from durable goods manufacturers and there are even reports of skilled worker shortages in non-metropolitan parts of the state. He says expected action at the federal level will likely send ripples into Iowa’s economy in the coming months.Goss predicts the Federal Reserve Board will raise interest rates this week and will likely do so again in March at the next meeting. He says the short-term interest rate hikes -will- slow the economy down. Goss says Iowa’s cattle producers can also expect a slow-down soon. Beef prices will be hurt if the barrier is lifted on Canadian beef coming south, plus, Goss says fewer people are on the meat-heavy Atkins diet now, which is also bringing prices down due to a lower demand.
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