The Iowa Business Council (IBC) has released its fourth-quarter Economic Outlook Survey for 2022, with the overall report reversing a three-quarter decline in overall optimism.
The fourth-quarter survey’s overall economic outlook index is 59.26, up 0.51 index points from the third-quarter report.
The IBC economic outlook report measures member expectations for sales, capital spending and employment for the next six months. If the index measures above 50, sentiment is positive.
The survey results, essentially flat compared to the third quarter, indicate Iowa’s continued resiliency as world markets and other indices project future economic strife.
Concerns relating to workforce attraction and retention remain the number one concern, with 83% of IBC executives listing it as a primary business challenge. The report also indicates 77% of IBC executives cite inflation as a primary business concern and 56% reported an unfavorable business climate as a top challenge.
From a workforce perspective, 94% of IBC executives surveyed report that it is somewhat to very difficult to hire employees, while further reporting more than 7,600 currently open/available positions in Iowa.
“Despite continued concerns relating to workforce attraction and inflation, IBC members remain positive with respect to Iowa’s economic trajectory,” stated Phil Jasper, president of mission systems for Collins Aerospace and Chair of the Iowa Business Council. “Iowa remains resilient in the face of difficult and growing economic challenges and we look forward to working with policymakers at all levels to ensure continued growth and prosperity for all Iowans.”
“We enter 2023 aware of the challenges that lay ahead but remain fully committed to IBC’s founding mission to serve as a catalyst for economic growth in Iowa,” added Iowa Business Council executive director Joe Murphy.