IBC's 2023 Q4 Economic Outlook Survey Released
January 11, 2024
IBC Projects Positive Six-Month Economic Outlook
2024 opens with continued confidence in Iowa’s economy
DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Business Council (IBC) has released its final quarterly Economic Outlook Survey (EOS) for 2023. The report measures IBC member expectations for sales, capital spending and employment for the next six months. If the index measures above 50, sentiment is positive. The fourth-quarter survey's overall economic outlook index is 59.65, a decrease of 0.27 index points from the 2023 third-quarter report.
The fourth-quarter survey reveals minimal changes in the overall outlook index although several categories experienced larger shifts. IBC members retain a positive sentiment regarding Iowa’s overall economy.
Q4 sales expectations among IBC members decreased 4.01 to a value of 57.89. Capital spending expectations increased by 6.40 to 67.11, while employment expectations decreased by 3.19 to a value of 53.95.
Concerns relating to workforce attraction and retention remain the number one concern with 74% of surveyed IBC executives listing it as a primary business challenge. Tied for second at 53% were an unfavorable business climate (national supply chain, infrastructure, and regulations) and the cost of products and service inputs.
From a workforce perspective, 85% of IBC executives surveyed report that it is somewhat to very difficult to currently hire employees, down from 90% from the third-quarter survey.
“Iowa’s economy is in a strong position as we enter 2024,” stated Phil Jasper, President of Raytheon, and Chair of the Iowa Business Council. “Our members remain optimistic about the future growth prospects here in Iowa that will lead to high-quality jobs and innovations throughout our state.”
“With the start of the legislative session, we look forward to working with members of the Iowa General Assembly and Governor Reynolds as we all work towards creating a more prosperous state for everyone,” said Iowa Business Council President Joe Murphy.
The Economic Outlook Survey has been completed by IBC members on a quarterly basis since 2004. The report provides insight regarding the projected trends for the state of Iowa, which can be used for business and economic planning. The reported trends have a state-wide impact, especially when considering that IBC companies have a presence in all 99 counties. To review previous Economic Outlook Surveys, please visit www.iowabusinesscouncil.org/news/eos.
About the Iowa Business Council
The Iowa Business Council (IBC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose 22 members are the chief decision makers of major Iowa employers. Employing over 150,000 Iowans, IBC member companies have invested billions of dollars of capital in Iowa's commercial infrastructure; lead the way in technology innovation, R&D, and grants procured; and are often the driving financial and volunteer forces behind philanthropic efforts all over the state.
IBC member companies include: Alliant Energy; Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company; Casey’s General Stores, Inc.; Collins Aerospace; Corteva Agriscience; Deere & Company; Fareway; HNI Corporation; Hy-Vee, Inc., Iowa Bankers Association; Kent Corporation; MercyOne; MidAmerican Energy Company; Pella Corporation; Principal; Ruan Transportation Management Systems; The Weitz Company; UnityPoint Health; Vermeer Corporation; Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa; Wells Enterprises, Inc; and Workiva.