A monthly survey finds Iowa’s economy is slowing down significantly, and the state’s productivity levels have fallen for the fourth month in a row. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says there are a variety of factors that were playing against progress for the Hawkeye State during October.
Goss says there are employment declines in some industries in Iowa, with a slow-down from some very good rates the state had seen earlier in the year. He says Iowa’s numbers are moving back onto a par with many of the national figures. Creighton surveys supply managers and business leaders in nine Midwestern states every month. As part of the survey, all of the data is fed into a program and a series of numbers come up, detailing the health of the state’s economy.
A zero is no economic pulse at all, 50 is growth neutral and 100 is the most thriving economy. Goss says Iowa slipped below that 50-mark during October, but he hesitates to say the economy is starting to tank. He says there will still likely be positive growth for the Iowa economy, it’ll just be much slower growth in the months ahead — in jobs and new orders.
Goss attributes that to rising energy costs, higher interest rates and supply disruptions due to the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast. The start of the holiday shopping season is a little over three weeks away and Goss predicts it will -not- be as strong a season as last year. He says there will be growth in the buying season when compared to last year but it won’t be as large as the growth that was seen between 2003 and 2004.
Goss says it’s evident that as families, firms and businesses have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for energy, they’ll have less to spend on the holiday season.