Sheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Developent held its fifth annual partner meeting on Tuesday night, September 15th in Sheldon.
The meeting, at the Northwest Iowa Community College Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center featured economist Ernie Goss. Goss’s work focuses primarily on economic forecasting and on the statistical analysis of business and economic data.
Goss’s speech drew conclusions about several economic indicators. He said that the US debt of $19 trillion is an engineered issue and is causing a decline in economic growth. He says the issues are over-regulation and too few incentives being provided by the government for business growth.
He said that it is important to keep students local, and that community colleges are just as important as universities.
Goss said the rising value of the dollar, while it sounds like a good thing — means our products cost more elsewhere in the world. He says when the dollar goes up, grain prices come down, for the most part. Goss went on to say that when grain prices come down, that hurts the local economy. He says restricted trade equals restricted growth.
He says that we are seeing price bubbles not only in ag land value, but across the economy, due to the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates. But he says even that creates opportunity. For instance, he says it’s a great time to borrow money.
Goss criticized the idea that college should be free. He says if you pay nothing for your education, you tend to not value that education.
He also noted that while ag land values are coming down, they’re deflating slowly instead of all at once, and that makes a big difference.
Goss gave his top five economic indicators to watch right now:
- The Consumer Price Index
- The Purchasing Management Index
- Job Data
- Wage Growth
- Yield on 10-year US Treasury Bonds
In the awards part of the presentation, three awards were given to four entities.
The Global Iowa Excellence in Exporting award went to Diversified Technologies of George.
The Kirk Grau Business or Organization Innovation Award went to both DK Plastics of Archer and Quatro Composites of Orange City.
And the Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support Award went to the Hartley Economic Development Corporation.