Northwest Iowa — A survey of business owners and supply managers finds December was one of the best months for economic activity in our region in nearly two years.
Economist Ernie Goss says it’s encouraging to see such a healthy boost after five straight months of seeing figures below growth neutral for the region.
The index for Iowa also climbed nearly four points, from around 48 in November to nearly 52 for December. Following six straight months of job losses, Goss says the new survey shows the region added a significant number of jobs during the past month.
The region lost a large number of manufacturing jobs during the past year, but gained even more non-manufacturing jobs. Goss says he’s troubled by all the talk from politicians of what he calls “uber-nationalism” as they propose tariffs and other limits on the import of goods from other countries. He says some protectionists want to limit imports while raising exports of American products and it just doesn’t work that way.
Goss predicts Iowa’s economy will continue to expand during 2017 with overall job gains of 5,000 for the first half of the year.