Governor Chet Culver convened a panel of experts at the statehouse Friday to discuss how a downturn in the national economy will impact Iowa. The chief economist for Principal Global Investors in Des Moines, Bob Baur, says the bailout package passed by Congress should ease lending restrictions for Iowa businesses.
Bauer says if businesses can’t get credit for ordinary expenses such as carrying inventory and paying bills, then their only recourse is to lay people off or cut back capital spending. He says that leads to a more serious recession. Baur believes Iowa can handle the economic slowdown.
He says they believe Iowa can weather through this, but says government help with retraining and educating the workforce will make it easier. Iowa’s jobless rate was 4.6% in August, compared to 3.8% one year ago.