Iowa business group reports weaker confidence

Iowa business group reports weaker confidence

Another Iowa business group reports weaker confidence

Business Record

Sept. 30, 2019

The Iowa Business Council’s third quarter survey found economic confidence has weakened among Iowa business leaders representing some of the largest employers in the state. 

That news comes a few days after a survey of the manufacturing-heavy Iowa Association of Business and Industry also found a more pessimistic outlook. 

In IBC’s case, the culprits appeared to be political and global market uncertainty and the regulatory climate. 

The survey looked at a composite of members' expectations for sales, capital spending and employment for the next six months. 

While over 75 percent of Iowa Business Council members expect higher sales in the upcoming six months, capital spending and employment expectations are mixed. The overall index fell to 62.5 from 63.75, its lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2016. Any index over 50 indicates a positive trend. 

"Our members cite the trade war and an uncertain geopolitical climate as the leading major disruptors for their growth," IBC Executive Director Georgia Van Gundy said. "Iowa Business Council members have been working for the past several months to urge Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to provide market stability."

The Iowa Business Council members noting they expect to have trouble filling vacancies in information technology, skilled trades and health care continue to top the list of growth disruptors. The vast majority, 83 percent, indicated that workforce issues were the biggest constraint to growth. 

IBC member companies include: Alliant Energy; Casey’s General Stores Inc.; Collins Aerospace; Corteva Agriscience; Deere & Co.; Fareway; FBL Financial Group Inc.; HNI Corp.; Hy-Vee Inc., Iowa Bankers Association; Kent Corp.; MercyOne; Meredith Corp.; MidAmerican Energy Co.; Pella Corp.; Principal; Ruan Transportation Management Systems; The Weitz Co.; University of Iowa Health Care; UnityPoint Health; Vermeer Corp.; Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa; and Wells Enterprises Inc.