Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says if Mad Cow disease doesn’t derail the farm economy, Iowa’s on track for a good 2004. Dr. Goss surveys purchasing managers and business leaders in the midwest. For the nine Mid-American states including Iowa, he says our economy cooled a bit late in the year, due in part to energy prices and their dampening effect on some businesses. While economic indicators cooled a bit in December, Goss says that wasn’t the end of recovery from the recession.He says Iowa added about eight thousand jobs in the last half of the year, good but nowhere near the recovery that will be required in job markets. Goss says farm income was up in 2003 and that helped push up business for the firms surveyed. The case of Mad Cow in Washington state resulted in a ban on Asian beef imports, and that could affect growth the next six to nine months. Still, employment was up for six months a row in this region, and Goss found the confidence index at a record high.
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