Iowa’s economy took its first big fall in many months during November, with numbers dropping to their lowest levels in more than five years. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says now that we’re into December, there’s an intense focus on the holiday shopping season, which may buoy the state’s numbers before year’s end.
Goss says “Certainly the Christmas buying season will bring some relief for Iowa. I don’t think this Christmas buying season is going to be quite as good as most analysts are expecting. I think we’ll see growth from last year but that growth is only going to be in the range of three to four-percent. There are expectations of seven to eight — I don’t think it’s going to be there.” Goss says Iowa’s placement drooped on the latest survey, which includes nine states in the Midwest region.
Goss says the survey of supply managers and business leaders in Iowa found the index numbers dropping to the lowest level since February 2001, indicating growth is certainly slowing with the potential for negative numbers in the months ahead. He says it may be a temporary downturn and he’d need to see another bad report for the current month before he’d say that the state economy was certainly on the decline.
Goss says the housing market is slowing down, there’s higher oil prices and the interest rate hikes are kicking in — all factors that are combining and slowing the economy. He says Iowa’s manufacturing sector is clearly slowing from the lofty levels recorded earlier in the year, while on the plus side, the agricultural machinery area continues to benefit from high grain prices.