A University of Iowa economist says he’s cautiously optimistic the state economy is pulling out of the recession. Charles White, director of the University of Iowa’s Institute for Economic Research, admits this week’s report that state tax receipts fell during July and early August was “disappointing,” but Whiteman says consumer confidence is rising overseas as other countries’ economies are recoverying — and that’s boosting U.S. exports.

“I think that’s a good thing for Iowa and when it really does kick in — and economist believe that it’s really starting — then our export markets will really strengthen and I think we’ll really see a turn here in Iowa,” Whiteman says. Whiteman predicts the stimulus of higher exports could boost the Iowa economy within five months.