The next six months should see continued solid growth for the Iowa economy, according to the latest survey of supply managers and business leaders statewide. Ernie Goss, an economist at Creighton University, says the survey shows strong economic conditions for March with growth in jobs and new orders. Goss says one big sector of the state’s economy may -not- be doing so well this year.
Goss says farm income for 2006 is going to be lower than in 2005, while the USDA is predicting farm income may drop 23 to 30-percent, a slip which will spill over into other areas of Iowa’s economy. Goss says the ag industry is still booming in Iowa, despite the predicted slowdown for many farmers. He says the agricultural machinery industry is continuing to grow which is helping a host of related industries and firms.
Goss says Iowa’s economy is diversified enough that it can take a slowdown in the some areas of the farm sector yet still see an upturn overall. Goss says there is good growth in Iowa’s manufacturing sector, along with positive moves outside the farming sector, including pluses in computers and technology and in insurance.
He expects the second quarter of the year to show more growth for Iowa across the board, though Goss predicts slowdowns in the third and fourth quarters as other factors bring slowdowns, including higher short-term and long-term interest rates.