The Iowa Business Council’s fourth-quarter Economic Outlook Survey continues to show a positive feeling among some of the state’s largest businesses.

IBC Executive Director Joe Murphy says the survey index gives a reading on plans for sales, capital spending, and employment.
“This fourth quarter for 2020, we ended the year with our highest rating of the year. We clocked in at 62.5 for a quantitative score,” Murphy says.

More than 55% of members expect sales to be higher in the next six months, 50% expect employment to increase and 50% expect capital spending to be higher. Murphy sees a couple of good things in the survey. “Number one — this marks the second straight quarter of positive economic sentiment from the Iowa Business Council. But secondly and probably more important, this is the highest rating that we’ve had since the second quarter of 2019,” according to Murphy. “So while we still have a long ways to go in total recovery from the pandemic — we are well on the way. This is a good thing for Iowa, this is a good thing for Iowa businesses.”

Murphy says the confidence among businesses comes from seeing the COVID vaccine, and experience in dealing with the pandemic. “People are literally getting injections in their arms right now — so that’s great…and secondly I would say that
we continue to adapt to what I hate to say is the new normal. I think everybody understands what they need to do and go about business,” Murphy says.

Murphy says the indicators are as good as they have been in months.
He says things are turning in the right way — and though we are not out of the woods yet — things are better than they were six months ago when the outlook was ‘quite negative.”

You can see the full survey results at: