Leading Indicators Index Shows Continued Improvement in Iowa's Economy

November 1, 2010

DES MOINES – In September, the state’s leading economic indicators improved for the 12th straight month, a sign that Iowa’s economy continues to improve.

Released by the Iowa Department of Revenue, the Iowa Leading Indicators Index for September rose to 101.0. That is a 0.6 percent increase from the month of August; August also experienced a 0.6 percent increase from July.

During September, six of eight indicators contributed positively, including increases in the agricultural futures profits index, diesel fuel consumption, average weekly manufacturing hours, the new orders index, and the Iowa stock market index.  A decrease in initial unemployment insurance claims in September also contributed positively to the index.  The negative contributors were the national yield spread and new residential building permits.

The Index suggests the future direction of movements in economic activity in Iowa.  “This upward trend in the index suggests we will see employment growth throughout the winter,” said Mark Schuling, Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue.

The Iowa Leading Indicators Index is updated monthly and includes series of economic data that provide leading signals for the Iowa labor market, manufacturing sector, financial sector, and agricultural sector.  Based on the methodology used by The Conference Board for the National Leading Economic Index, the Iowa Leading Indicators Index provides a signal to the direction of Iowa non-farm employment and major State tax revenue sources six to nine months in the future.  Reports are available on the Department of Revenue Web site: http://www.iowa.gov/tax/taxlaw/econindicators.html

Media Contact: Roger Stirler, Iowa Department of Revenue, 515.281.4908