After three months of negative economic numbers, the Iowa Business Council’s fourth quarter indicators are up slightly.
The overall index for the fourth quarter was 62. That’s up one point from the third quarter. Sales and capital spending indicators were also up a point from the third quarter. A number above 50 indicates that survey respondents expect economic growth over the next three months.
Executive Director Elliott Smith says the numbers stabilized in part because the election is past, which removes some uncertainty. “I think in the third quarter you saw some jitters about the election, you saw some concern over the looming fiscal cliff and budget debt issues, and you know Europe is always kind of a wild card in there too, every few weeks a new problem seems to arise with one of the key countries over there.”
The fourth quarter survey says 87 percent of Business Council members plan to spend the same amount or more on infrastructure and equipment over the next six months.
Smith says Business Council members are “cautiously optimistic” about the economy.