After two months of declines, Iowa’s economic picture brightened in the latest monthly survey of business leaders and supply managers statewide. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says Iowa’s economy is still solidly expanding. Goss says the July survey indicates very strong growth for the month — and for the months ahead — for Iowa’s economy. He says the Hawkeye State saw a drop in its jobless numbers during the month.He says new high school and college graduates are getting hired, though not quite as many experienced workers are getting new positions. Contrary to other states in the region, Goss says there were positive reports from Iowa firms in durable goods, especially metal manufacturing and non-durable goods manufacturing. Even Iowa’s food manufacturers, which Goss says is a weak regional industry, indicated improving economic conditions. Goss says the Persian Gulf region, where much of our oil originates, is still very troubled and it’s causing a ripple effect in Iowa.He says some Iowa companies are “pulling back a bit” on their spending and on their production as they’re seeing supply shortages, in part, caused by the rising oil and energy costs. Creighton conducts the monthly survey in Iowa and eight other Midwestern states.