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Iowa leading indicators unchanged in August


The most recent Iowa Department of Revenue report showed the Iowa Leading Indicators Index unchanged in August at 107, the third straight month at the same reading.

Half of the eight components contributed positively.

The six-month diffusion index returned to 25.0 in August for the fifth time in the last six months after July’s jump to 37.5. Agriculture futures and diesel fuel consumption were the only two areas seeing gains, and they were modest. 

With a 0.06% increase in August, Iowa’s nonfarm employment index has experienced 22 consecutive months of growth. But other measures signal weakness, the state reported, and employment growth is expected to slow in the next six months. 

The strongest showing came from residential building permits, diesel fuel consumption, the agricultural futures profits index, and average manufacturing hours. 

Residential building permits in August were 38.7% above August 2018 (1,409 vs. 1,016) and 24.4% above the historical average since 1998.

The 12-month moving average of manufacturing hours increased to 41.59 in August from 41.56 in July. August 2019 average hours were at 41.3, nearly one half hour above the 40.9 hours in August 2018 and equal to the historical monthly average (1996-2018).

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