Economic Survey: Iowa, Midwest See Very Slow Growth During May

Omaha, Nebraska — Inflation is keeping prices high on all sorts of goods, and a survey of business leaders in Iowa and eight other Midwestern states finds prices rose nearly six percent in the past year, but may only rise three percent in the year ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the leading economic indicator for the region grew a modest amount during May compared to April on the zero-to-one-hundred scale, where 50 is growth neutral.

The overall index specifically for Iowa fell in May to 51.9, a drop from April’s 55.8. The survey found many employers in Iowa and other states continue having trouble finding qualified workers to fill open positions, so they’re retaining workers, which Goss says is creating another sort of problem.

Goss says the survey found only about one in six employers reported job gains during the past month, almost the same as during April. He says a couple of industries, in particular, are struggling.

The banking and finance industry is also “having a tough go of it,” Goss says, with short-term interest rates very high compared to long-term rates. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing employment in Iowa expanded by 1.9% over the past 12 months, while manufacturing hourly wages climbed by 6.9% over the same period.



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