The Iowa Business Council’s latest quarterly survey shows a small drop in confidence among the 18 businesses. Council executive director, Elliott Smith, says the overall index for the quarter dropped two points.
Smith says they survey still shows good numbers, although a couple indicators did back off from record highs. "So, I don’t know that there’s any caution or concern, or red flags of what the survey shows," Smith says.
The survey uses a 100 point scale to rate the businesses on their projections of sales, capitol improvements and employment in the next six months. Any score above 50 is considered positive. The overall survey score for this quarter dropped from 66.3 to 64.3, with sales and employment scores dropping.
Smith says companies are seeing good sales patterns and continue to be aggressive in their markets, so while sales backed off slightly, he says it’s not a big concern. He says the capital spending number actually went up. Smith says projections of more capital spending indicate businesses remain positive.
Smith says if a company doesn’t expect a good future, one of the first things they would likely do is back off capital spending. So, Smith says the 66 score for capital spending is promising. The sales index dropped just two points, while the employment index dropped seven points below the survey three months ago.
Smith says the sales were at 63 last quarter and at 56 this quarter, they are still in positive territory. Smith says he thinks it’s a matter of corporate leaders stepping back from aggressive hiring patterns as they try to get a sense of what the second half of this year will bring. For more information about the survey, visit the I-B-C website.