Survey: Confidence in Iowa’s Economy Continues into New Year

December 14, 2018

Mike Ralston, President, ABI
Mike Ralston, President, ABI

Business leaders are looking ahead, and they like what they see, say survey results released today by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI).

“If the outlook for Q1 is any indication, 2019 will be a banner year for Iowa businesses,” said Mike Ralston, ABI president. “Q1 often sets the tone for the entire year, so we’re off to a great start.”

Despite the new year approaching, old obstacles persist for ABI members.

“Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce continues to be the biggest challenge for Iowa businesses,” said Ralston. “It’s been that way for many years, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

ABI quizzed its board members in December 2018. The survey found:

  • 72% of survey respondents expect sales to expand over the next year. 21% expect sales to stay the same.
  • 55% of survey respondents expect the number of employees in their business to grow over Q1. 41% expect the number to stay the same.
  • 97% of survey respondents plan to make capital expenditures in Q1. That’s up from 65% for Q4 in 2018.
  • A shortage of skilled labor, along with rising material costs and tariffs on raw materials, were top issues for Q1.

The survey results may be found at