IBC's 2023 Q1 Economic Outlook Survey Released
April 6, 2023
IBC Projects Positive Six-Month Economic Outlook
EOS scores indicate continued resiliency in Iowa’s economy
DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Business Council (IBC) has released its first-quarter Economic Outlook Survey (EOS) for 2023. The report measures member expectations for sales, capital spending and employment for the next six months. If the index measures above 50, sentiment is positive. The first-quarter survey's overall economic outlook index is 59.72, an increase of 0.46 index points from the 2022 fourth-quarter report.
Although the overall EOS index is flat, the results project continued confidence in Iowa’s economy and across all aspects measured by the IBC including expectations for sales, capital spending, and employment.
Sales expectations among IBC members decreased by 2.78 index points to a value of 65.28. Capital spending expectations increased by 2.77 index points to 56.94 and employment expectations increased by 1.38 index points to a value of 56.94.
Concerns relating to workforce attraction and retention remain the number one concern with 83% IBC executives listing it as a primary business challenge. 56% of IBC executives surveyed stated inflation as a primary business concern while 56% further reported an unfavorable business climate as a top challenge.
From a workforce perspective, 94% of IBC executives surveyed report that it is somewhat to very difficult to hire employees while reporting more than 5,500 currently open/available positions in Iowa.
“The fact that IBC members continue to project confidence in Iowa’s overall economy is significant,” stated Phil Jasper, President of Mission Systems for Collins Aerospace and Chair of the Iowa Business Council. “The business community continues to be optimistic about the future direction of our state and we will remain steadfast as an organization to bring forth policies and solutions that enhance Iowa’s ability to expand business in Iowa,” he added.
“As the legislature works towards adjournment, the IBC will remain engaged with the General Assembly and the Governor’s office in advancing pro-growth strategies that increase our ability to attract and retain business and workforce opportunities in Iowa,” said Iowa Business Council President Joe Murphy.
The Economic Outlook Survey has been completed by IBC members on a quarterly basis since 2004. The report provides insight regarding the projected trends for the state of Iowa, which can be used for business and economic planning. The reported trends have a state-wide impact, especially when considering that IBC companies have a presence in all 99 counties. To review previous Economic Outlook Surveys, please visit www.iowabusinesscouncil.org/news/eos.