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Survey: Midwest Economy Will Slow Thanks To Tariffs

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — A monthly economic survey of business leaders in Iowa and eight other Midwestern states predicts a slowdown is coming and Trump administration tariffs are to blame.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the survey found nearly two-thirds of firms questioned reported recent tariffs and trade restrictions have had, or will have, a negative impact on their companies.

The survey found almost 47-percent of supply managers questioned said recent tariffs have had negative impacts on buying from abroad. While a U.S. Commerce Department report released Friday showed the country’s economic growth climbed above four-percent this spring for the first time in almost four years, Goss isn’t optimistic.

Jobs figures for the nine-state region in July fell from the June report. Goss says overall employment growth in the region in the past 12 months has been healthy but it’s expanding at a rate slower than the nation.

Goss says in the Midwest, trade tensions are “a clear and present danger” to the overall economy. The Creighton survey shows Iowa’s job numbers sank from June to July. Goss says U.S. Census data indicates Iowa exported $4.5 billion in agricultural and food products in 2017. This represented 34-percent of total 2017 state exports, or third highest in the nine-state region.

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