Iowa businesses see rising economic tide

(Des Moines, IA) -- The Iowa Business Council says economic conditions improved in the fourth quarter, up nearly 4 points from the 3rd quarter. The I-B-C says the overall economic outlook index was 62, up 20-points from the spring, when the state was in the height of pandemic-related shut-downs. Murphy says there's been a steady improvement since last spring.

The survey finds about half of its members are expecting better sales and more capital spending this year. The survey also finds about half of the organization's members say they intend to expand their workforce this year. The survey notes some continued concern about long-range impacts of the pandemic.

Spokesman Joe Murphy says some of the intentions to grow then workforce could be a result of a contraction in 2020, but he says in general employers have been able to keep the existing workforce.

Murphy says the IBC is also getting ready for the upcoming Iowa Legislative session. He says the organization hopes to work with lawmakers on several issues including: broadband expansion, childcare, housing, workforce development and tax policy.

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