Iowa’s economy has seen brisk growth in recent months but the spurt is apparently starting to slow. Creighton University’s August survey of Iowa supply managers and business leaders finds the state’s overall business index slumping compared to numbers in June and July.
Creighton economist Ernie Goss says it’s a similar story for the nine-state Midwest region. Goss says the index from the survey is down for August compared to the previous month but is still in the positive growth range, in fact, they’re the lowest numbers for the year, though they indicate the economy is still experiencing good growth, just not spectacular growth.
Goss says there was significant August growth in Iowa reported by durable and non-durable manufacturers and insurance carriers. On the other hand, he says the fast growing truck shipping industry is showing clear signs of slipping from July levels.
Goss says we’re seeing some pullbacks in transportation which may be attributed to a slowdown in housing which means fewer shipments in terms of building materials. He says Iowa’s unemployment rate has fallen by three-tenths of a percent since January.
Based on surveys over the past several months, Goss says he expects the rate to move back to January’s level in the months ahead. He says there are more and more signals in the survey that the Federal Reserve’s repeated interest rate hikes may be bringing the economy in for a soft landing.
The trade picture doesn’t look so good with the import level remaining high while exports are dropping, meaning the trade deficit will likely worsen in the months ahead, or at least it won’t likely improve.