One indicator of the state's business health is again showing improvement. The Iowa Business Council's quarterly economic outlook survey found that Iowa's largest employers are more optimistic when it comes to company sales, capital spending, and employment.


The survey's overall economic outlook index rose to 68.3, up from 66.3 three months ago and 65.3 one year ago. The index employs on a 100-point scale and represents the opinions of the 20 corporate members of the Iowa Business Council.

"One would have to say that this is one of the better survey's we've ever seen. It's indicating good, solid business activity in Iowa for at least the next six months," said Elliott Smith, the group's executive director.

The 2012 second-quarter sales index hit 73, two points higher than last quarter and four points better than one year ago. One hundred percent of CEOs surveyed expect steady or increased sales over the next six months.

The 2012 second quarter capital spending index inched up two points from last quarter to 69. It is five points higher than from a year ago. Meanwhile, the second-quarter employment index reached 63, two points ahead of last quarter's survey and the same as this time last year.

The Iowa Business Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose 24 members are the top executives of 20 of the largest businesses in the state, Iowa's three public university presidents and the state's largest banking association.