A monthly survey finds Iowa’s economy ranks as one of the strongest in the Midwest, despite a few recent bumps in the fiscal road. Ernie Goss, an economist at Creighton University, says his monthly survey finds Iowa’s economic numbers slipped a bit during the just-ended month but he says the state is still clearly in the “growth positive” category.
Goss says the July survey of supply managers and business leaders in Iowa found falling numbers from June but still in the “solid growth” range, while Goss expects solid growth to continue into the third and fourth quarters, though he says the growth will not be as robust as it was during the first half of the year. He says continued high energy prices are taking a toll, as are the rising interest rates.
Goss notes, the Federal Reserve Board has raised rates 17 times since 2004 and it appears the Fed is trying to bring the national economy in for a “soft landing.” He says there will still be positive growth, it just won’t be as healthy as during the first half of the year, and that’s going to be true for Iowa. He says Iowa’s economy is ranked first or second among the nine states in the Creighton survey, depending on how you look at the numbers, with Iowa manufacturing doing very well during the first half of 2006.
Goss says the second half of the year won’t be as rosy in Iowa, especially with the looming layoffs as Whirlpool shuts down the Maytag headquarters and factory in central Iowa. Goss says when those jobs are lost in Newton, it’s a significant number of jobs but there are also spill-over jobs to consider — for every one job that’s lost in the manufacturing sector, another two will be lost outside in the non-manufacturing area. He says it’ll mean softer, lower numbers for the year’s second half.