After several months of foul financial reports, a new survey of Iowa business leaders and supply managers finds the state’s economy turning slightly upward. Ernie Goss, an economic professor at Creighton University, compiles the monthly survey for Iowa and eight other Midwestern states. Goss says the state and region are showing signs of growth.
“What we’re seeing is, the turnaround in the housing sector, the stabilizing, improving housing sector is now spilling over into the durable goods sector, heavy manufacturing,” Goss says. “We’re also seeing, in this part of the country, the food processing industry is doing reasonably well, exports are turning upward.” The term durable goods can apply to a host of products, from cars to electronics to furniture. Goss says durable goods producers that are -not- linked to agriculture are seeing improving economic conditions.
“Although, those industries that are heavily dependent on the farm sector are not doing as well,” Goss says. “Of course, farm income is down as much as 30 to 35% from last year and that’s affecting some of the industries.” In the past year, Goss says Iowa has lost almost 50,000 jobs, or more than three-percent of the state’s non-farm employment. He expects job losses to turn around in the months ahead with a slight drop in Iowa’s unemployment rate by the end of 2009.