(Radio Iowa) The Iowa Business Council’s third-quarter Economic Outlook Survey shows continued concern about the national economy among its members. I-B-C president Joe Murphy says they measure member expectations for sales, capital spending, and employment for the next six months.
“While we did see a decline in each of those categories, our index is still well above the critical threshold,” he says. That threshold is 50 which indicates a positive outlook on the 100-point scale and the latest survey is just under 60. Murphy says concern about a recession remains.
“You know, we’ve been in this state for quite a while now, multiple months, where the first the discussion was, you know, when is there going to be a recession, we’re definitely going to have a recession. And that shifted to more of a soft landing, hey, we might get through this unscathed,” Murphy says. He says the concern about a recession has come back.
“We’ve kind of picked back up into that well, is there going to be a recession and how severe it might be just given the interest rates and other national and international factors that have been going on and so there’s this overall sense of uncertainty that has been very consistent,” Murphy says.
He says the inflation and higher interest rates are hitting the customers of the member businesses.
“We are experiencing some levels of consumer spending declining and so when people aren’t out there buying potentially, tractors or windows or implements or other things like that for their, for their homes or for their businesses, you know, that will have an impact,” he says. Murphy says those are concerns about the national economy, but the key is that the Iowa economy remains strong.
“Despite the fact that some farmers are concerned about the drought and things that they have experienced, the resiliency of Iowa agriculture in the wake of some of these, things, continues to be quite impressive,” Murphy says. “And so we are, we’re in a very good spot, once again, to weather the sort of national uncertainties and we look forward to coming out the other end.” The Iowa Business Council has 21 members who are the leaders of major Iowa employers with some 150-thousand workers in the state.