A monthly survey of Iowa business owners and supply managers finds leading economic indicators dipped slightly in November but the state was still in healthy territory for the 11th month in a row. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says Iowa’s experiencing solid growth, the best among the nine states across the Midwest region.

Goss says there’s expansion in Iowa in heavy manufacturing, durable goods manufacturing and even in some non-durables like food processing. “Overall for the Iowa economy, the positives are definitely outweighing the negatives. I expect this growth to continue well into 2011.” The month-long holiday shopping season is where some Iowa business make most of their profits for the year and Goss says it’s off to an excellent start.

“The holiday buying season is going to be up in my judgment about three to four to five percent,” Goss says. “We’ve got very good agricultural income which is spilling over into other businesses in the mid-American region, so that’s looking good.” He says most merchants in Iowa are thrilled with sales over the past week and with the prospects for the next month.

“Cyber Monday was a very good shopping day,” Goss says. “Black Friday was also good, I think a little better than what we expected. All in all, the 2010 holiday buying season is going to be better than 2009.” Goss says, “I expect continuing economic progress well into 2011 for the state, even as the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high.” State labor officials say Iowa’s unemployment rate held steady in October compared to September at six-point-seven percent. That’s still well below the national jobless rate of nine-point-six percent.