Survey: Economy Slumps Again, Recession Becoming Likely In 2023

Omaha, Nebraska — December is traditionally a very busy, profitable month for retailers, but the latest economic survey for Iowa and eight other Midwestern states shows another dip in the business barometer for the final month of 2022. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the state and regional economies fell further below growth neutral, or 50 on the zero-to-100 scale, during December, pointing to higher recession risk for 2023.

Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota are all seeing employment levels now that exceed pre-pandemic levels, but the survey shows Iowa has yet to hit that mark. Goss says the region is still lagging several thousand jobs, but hiring numbers did rise during December.

The future outlook is far from glowing, Goss says, as the overall Business Conditions Index has fallen for seven of the past nine months. Plus, he says about 60-percent of supply managers surveyed expect the economy to slump into a recession in 2023.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iowa’s current labor force participation rate is two percentage points lower than before the pandemic. Goss says that indicates more than 34,000 Iowans remain out of the workforce, thus contributing to the state’s labor shortage.



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