IBC's 2023 Q3 Economic Outlook Survey Released
IBC Projects Positive Six-Month Economic Outlook
All indicators decline from previous quarter, but confidence remains strong
DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Business Council (IBC) has released its third-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 third-quarter survey's overall economic outlook index is 59.92, a decrease of 4.25 index points from the 2023 second-quarter report.
While the survey did experience a decline across all three measured expectation indexes, IBC members remain largely positive of the overall trend of Iowa’s economy.
Q3 sales expectations among IBC members decreased by 6.85 to a value of 61.90. Capital spending expectations decreased by 0.54 to 60.71, and employment expectations decreased by 5.36 to a value of 57.14.
Concerns relating to workforce attraction and retention remain the number one concern with 81% of surveyed IBC executives listing it as a primary business challenge. An unfavorable business climate (national supply chain, infrastructure, and regulations) was the second primary concern cited by 52% of IBC executives. The cost of products and services continues to round out the top three business challenges with 43% of IBC members reporting inflation as a core concern.
From a workforce perspective, 90% of IBC executives surveyed report that it is somewhat to very difficult to hire employees currently.
“Despite modest declines in expectation levels, IBC members remain positive about the future of Iowa’s economy,” stated Phil Jasper, President of Mission Systems for Collins Aerospace and Chair of the Iowa Business Council. “Iowa’s economy has always endured while uncertainty occurs at a national level and that fact remains true today.”
“Knowing that our economy remains strong and resilient is an important point as we begin to focus our attention on policy priorities for the 2024 legislative session,” 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.
About the Iowa Business Council
The Iowa Business Council (IBC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose 21 members are the chief decision makers of major Iowa employers. Employing over 150,000 Iowans, IBC member companies have invested billions of dollars of capital in Iowa's commercial infrastructure; lead the way in technology innovation, R&D, and grants procured; and are often the driving financial and volunteer forces behind philanthropic efforts all over the state.
IBC member companies include: Alliant Energy; Casey’s General Stores, Inc.; Collins Aerospace; Corteva Agriscience; Deere & Company; Fareway; HNI Corporation; Hy-Vee, Inc., Iowa Bankers Association; Kent Corporation; MercyOne; MidAmerican Energy Company; Pella Corporation; Principal; Ruan Transportation Management Systems; The Weitz Company; UnityPoint Health; Vermeer Corporation; Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa; Wells Enterprises, Inc; and Workiva.