Iowa’s economy is slipping into recession, according to one of the region’s top economists. Ernie Goss, an economics professor at Creighton University, says his surveys of business leaders and supply managers across Iowa continue to show ailing, worsening numbers month after month after month.
Goss says, “This leading economic indicator for the state of Iowa is now into negative territory, below growth neutral, so I expect job losses to mount in the months ahead and a lot of that can be traced to some of the downturn in export-related companies, also, anything to do with automobile production, that would be parts manufacturing, not doing very well at all in Iowa.”
Goss says the survey for October shows Iowa is “pointing to a recession” but he won’t say Iowa’s -in- a recession, as he says the exact definition of recession is elastic. “Normally, what I look for are three or four months of job losses and we have not had that for Iowa yet,” Goss says. “I expect to see that in the months ahead. I think Iowa will be losing jobs over the next few months and into 2009.”
While hiring will rise soon in Iowa for the holiday season, Goss says it’ll only be temporary and he expects Iowa’s unemployment rate to move above five-percent in early 2009. The foul financial times in the state and nation, he says, are not permanent.
Goss says: “It’s just going to take time. We’re going to have to move through this economic downturn and we will move beyond it. Some individuals are calling for another depression. I don’t see it. Our numbers don’t suggest that or indicate that. The national numbers don’t suggest that, don’t indicate that.” Goss says the holiday shoppping season ahead may be one of the worst in 15 years.