A drop in building permits and uncertainty about the farm economy led to a 0.2 percent dip in the Iowa Department of Revenue's index of economic indicators for April.

The number of building permits issued was the most negative contributor to the index in April after being the second most positive contributor in March. There were 286 fewer permits issued this year than a year before.

The decrease in April was likely the result of a shift in permits to earlier in the year due to the mild winter, the department said. For the first four months of 2012, building permits issued exceed the number issued in the year-ago period.

The agricultural futures profits index was the second biggest negative contributor in April. An increase in the price of soybeans was offset by an anticipated 12.2 percent rise in production costs. Corn prices dropped in April, and there was uncertainty about anticipated livestock profits pending Iowa State University's release of final break-even costs for the year. Preliminary estimates are that both cattle and hog profits will drop.

On the positive side, manufacturing hours increased in April and 14 of 33 companies tracked on the Iowa stock index had positive gains.