There are more signs that Iowa’s economy is on the rebound. The state’s Leading Indicators Index, released today by the Iowa Department of Revenue, was up in November for the 14th consecutive month.
Seven of the eight components used to track the economy increased during the month including diesel fuel consumption, farm profits and building permits. Amy Rehder Harris, a state economist, says she’s confident the economy will stay on the upswing during the coming months.
“Given the strong numbers we’ve seen in the last year, we believe state employment will continue to grow,” Harris said. “I mean, it’s been growing for the last five months, but just at a slow pace. We expect that growth to continue over the first half of 2011.”
Claims for unemployment were down in November, but Harris says a full recovery from the recession in Iowa depends on the unemployment figures heading even lower. “We’re still seeing that unemployment claims in Iowa, as in the country in general, are above historical averages. So, there are still a lot of people out there who are looking for work or have recently lost their jobs,” Harris said.
The one indicator that did not improve from October to November was for new factory orders, but Harris says demand for those manufactured goods is still at a healthy rate.