A survey of the state’s largest employers shows a majority are feeling positive about the economic outlook for the next six months.
Iowa Business Council executive director Elliott Smith says 21 of the council’s 25 members were surveyed as part of IBC’s first quarter economic index. “It came in pretty much as we expected, I think. We didn’t see any radical moves up or down,” Smith said. “Sales did increase a little bit, which is nice to see.”
Of the 21 council members surveyed, 19 said they expect higher or steady sales during the next six months. “And really the numbers for capital spending and employment are the same, for the most part,” Smith said. Ninety-five percent of IBC corporate members expect steady or increased capital spending levels through August 2014, while 85-percent expect hiring levels for the next six months to remain steady or grow.
The IBC Overall Economic Outlook Survey Index (OSI) for the first quarter of 2014 is 62. “We’re still in positive sentiment territory, which is anything about 50 on our 100 point scale. All our numbers are well above that,” Smith said. The OSI of 62 is equal to the last quarter of 2013 but down 2 points from the same quarter a year ago.