A survey of business leaders across Iowa and eight other states finds the collective economy is seeing a healthy rise in activity. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says for a third straight month, Iowa’s Business Conditions Index rose, which mirrors the boost in surrounding states.
“Our survey of supply managers in nine states, the Mid-America region, that survey for March, the number took its biggest one-month jump in over a year,” Goss says. “It was very good news. We’re seeing this regional economy, much like the national economy, getting stronger and stronger. That’s meaning more and more jobs.”
While there’s been much doom and gloom in the national media about the impact of the federal budget cuts, Goss says businesses in the Midwest aren’t being bothered. “We asked the supply managers how the federal spending, sequestration, was affecting their businesses — not much at all,” Goss says.
“More than three-fourths of them said no impacts at all and about 26%, a little more than one-fourth, reported only modest impacts.” The Iowa economy is seeing very broad-based business gains, Goss says, positive growth that’s being reflected across much of the region.
“The job pictures is looking much better,” Goss says. “Durable goods manufacturing, looking good. Non-durable goods manufacturing, also good. You look and dig down below the surface on that, agricultural equipment manufacturing, much better.”
Ag equipment producers continue to expand at a very brisk pace, Goss says, as are metal manufacturers. He says the surveys point to a continuation of the healthy growth with gains in both jobs and average hours worked for most industries.