IBC survey finds new optimism about economic future

By CBJ News Staff

Iowa Business Council (IBC) members are increasingly optimistic about the economic outlook, according to results of the IBC’s third-quarter Economic Outlook Survey.

The survey’s overall economic outlook index rose to 58.71, increasing 17.46 points from the second quarter of 2020. Measuring above 50 for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2019, the index mark represents a significant turnaround in economic sentiment.

The survey measures members’ expectations for sales, capital spending and employment for the next six months. If the index measures above 50, sentiment is positive.

IBC members continue to cite challenges associated with attracting and retaining a talented workforce and continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Fifty-five percent of members expect sales to be higher in the next six months, 41% expect employment to increase and 45% expect capital spending to be higher.

“While the pandemic still has a significant impact on business and the overall economy, this survey clearly indicates that IBC members are optimistic about the future,” Mary Andringa, chair of the Iowa Business Council, stated in a release. “As we enter the fourth quarter, we remain hopeful this trend line continues and that businesses in Iowa continue to recover and grow.”

The IBC represents 22 of the state’s largest employers. The Economic Outlook Survey has been completed by IBC members quarterly since 2004. CBJ