While the Midwestern economy hit its lowest point in 11 years last April, the region has continued to climb out for eight of the past nine months. A survey of business leaders in Iowa and across the Midwest shows the January numbers are very healthy, according to Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.
On a scale of zero to 100 where 50 is growth neutral, the survey shows Iowa’s business conditions index climbed to 71.5 in January, up from 64.7 in December. Supply managers and business owners were asked how the pandemic has most impacted their operations in the past year.
The nation’s economic outlook appears to be strengthening, Goss says, but the first quarter won’t likely be that stellar.
Employment for the Midwest region is still down almost five-percent from a year ago. Since bottoming out last April, Goss says Iowa’s manufacturing employment has expanded by almost 14,000 jobs, for a 6.4% gain. He adds, Creighton’s surveys over the past several months indicate that rate of growth for the state will continue well into 2021.