Iowa retailers are in for a holiday jump in sales, better than in several years, according to new predictions from Creighton University economist Ernie Goss. As part of his monthly survey of business leaders and supply managers across the Midwestern region, Dr. Goss says the season ahead looks very promising. He says it’ll be one of the best Christmas buying seasons for Iowa merchants since 1999, with growth forecast of about a seven-percent over last year. Goss says the latest monthly survey finds Iowa in a slightly lower growth position in October than it was in September, but he sees new hiring and economic stimulus in the short term. He predicts employment growth of one-to-two percent over last year. Goss says the picture isn’t all rosy for the months ahead. He’s seeing some inflationary pressures due to higher prices for energy and oil, slowing growth. He expects the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates to compensate early in 2004.