Iowa Companies Pessimistic About Future, But Less So Than in March

June 30, 2020

By John Steppe, The Gazette

As the economy reopens but coronavirus still looms, businesses are slightly more optimistic in an Iowa Business Council survey.

Iowa Business Council releases a quarterly Economic Outlook Survey after polling its members across the state about their expectations for the next six months. Tuesday’s index from the report is 41.25. Anything below 50 represents negative sentiment in the business community.

It’s a 3.75-point increase from last quarter’s 37.5 index — the lowest since 2009.

“As opposed to the Great Recession, when the IBC’s Economic Outlook Survey saw two straight quarters of decline before rebound, we are inching up after just one declining quarter,” said Mary Andringa, chair of the Iowa Business Council and board chairwoman of Pella-based Vermeer, in a statement.

“We’re hopeful this trend line continues as we build consumer confidence and supply chains reconfigure to address today’s needs while keeping our team members and customers safe.”

Results from the survey are far from ideal, though. Sixty percent of respondents expect sales to be lower in the rest of 2020 and half of respondents enacted furloughs or layoffs.

Sixty percent of those respondents expect rehiring to occur in the next seven to nine months.

Another 45 percent anticipate employment to decrease in the next six months.

“The Iowa Business Council will remain focused on communicating with our state and federal policymakers on important strategies for recovery including broadband expansion, childcare access and affordability, and business liability protections,” said Joe Murphy, executive director of Iowa Business Council, in a statement.

Read full article here.


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