Iowa Businesses Express Some Optimism for Next Six Months
April 6, 2021
By John Steppe, The Gazette
An Iowa Business Council quarterly survey of executives of 22 of Iowa’s largest employers showed positive expectations for the next six months, albeit not as positive as three months earlier.
IBC’s quarterly economic outlook index decreased from 62.5 to 56.25, but anything above 50 is considered positive.
It’s the third consecutive survey with positive economic sentiment.
"Receiving three consecutive quarters of positive index numbers is significant for the state’s economic outlook,“ said Tim Yaggi, IBC’s chairman and Pella Corp.’s president and CEO, in a news release.
“This survey instills optimism for Iowa’s overall recovery as the vaccine rollout accelerates and working conditions start to normalize.”
The 56.25 number is the lowest since the second quarter of 2020, though, and the first quarter-to-quarter decrease in a year.
More than 50 percent of respondents expect their capital spending to remain the same in the next six months, and more than 30 percent expect it to be higher or substantially higher.
More than half of employers surveyed also anticipate their workforce to increase in the next six months. More than 60 percent expect a rise in sales as well.
IBC members expressed concern about developing a talented and diverse workforce, though. About 80 percent of respondents pointed to it as one of their top three challenges.
“The survey results illustrate in real-time the importance of the Iowa Business Council’s top legislative priorities such as affordable child care, workforce housing and high-speed internet access as we seek to attract and retain a quality workforce across Iowa,” IBC Executive Director Joe Murphy said in the release.
The IBC survey has perspectives from its 22 members, which include Collins Aerospace, Alliant Energy, Hy-Vee, Fareway and the University of Iowa Health Care among other major employers in the state.
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