A study shows Iowa’s economic growth during the first quarter of the year has been much stronger than that of the Midwest region and the nation. Creighton University’s monthly survey of supply managers and business leaders in the nine-state region shows Iowa’s numbers rising for the fourth month in a row. Creighton economist Ernie Goss says he expects Iowa’s economy to add another ten-thousand jobs in the second quarter, with strong farm income and growth in biofuels as the catalyst.
Goss says: "The index from that survey shows good growth now and points to good growth in the months ahead. We’re seeing the farm sector, the industries and firms that have close ties to agriculture, doing real well. Also the biofuels industry and anything connected to that industry is doing real well. All in all, it was a very good report for the state of Iowa for April."
Thousands of Iowa students will be graduating from Iowa’s high schools and colleges in the next few weeks, which Goss says will flood the market with plenty of potential new employees — though he predicts they’ll find work. Goss says: "It’s going to be a real good job market for graduates this year as long as they’re willing to stay in the mid-American region — the nine states that we survey. This part of the nation is doing much better than the rest of the nation. Certainly the non-metropolitan areas are doing better than the metropolitan areas where the downturn in the housing market has had some real negative impacts."
Goss says they’re seeing a continued rise in the so-called "prices paid index," which tracks what consumers are paying for all sorts of services, products and essentials. Goss says, "This is the real fly in the economic ointment, if you will. We are seeing inflationary pressures up. A lot of that can be traced to energy, not just oil, and natural gas and other commodities. This is going to move the Fed to the sidelines in terms of what some believe is going to be an (interest) rate cut, but I put the likelihood of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve at about one-percent." The board is scheduled to meet May 9th — next Wednesday.