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Iowa Economic Forecast Little Changed Since October

According to the Iowa Economic Forecast for December, the University of Iowa Institute for Economic Research expects the state's real personal income to grow by 1.7 percent in 2006 and unemployment to be at 5 percent. Both figures are largely unchanged from the most recent forecast in October.

The Institute expects real personal income to increase by 2.3 percent in 2005, with unemployment to be at 5.1 percent. Both those figures are also little changed since October.

Chuck Whiteman, Institute director and UI professor of economics, said the October income forecast was based on data through the second quarter of 2005 for both state and national data. He said the current income data runs through the second quarter of 2005 for state variables, and through the third quarter of 2005 for national variables.

Whiteman said the December forecast continues to project the state could reach a milestone in 2006, with personal income in the state surpassing $100 billion.

Also unchanged is the Institute's expected real GDP growth of 3.5 percent this year and 3.3 percent in 2006. The Institute's employment forecast for 2006 is up slightly from October. The forecast for 2006 is for a growth rate of 1.1 percent in non-farm employment, which is up from .9 percent in the most recent forecast. Looking to 2007, the Institute forecasts an employment increase of 1 percent for the year.

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa created the Institute for Economic Research in July 1975 to facilitate cohesive and continuing economic research and to establish a formal mechanism for providing interaction with, and economic research services to, government and industry. Each quarter, the Institute produces the Iowa Economic Forecast, which contains quantitative forecasts of economic conditions and tax revenues for the State of Iowa, utilizing the latest developments in the latest advances in econometric theory.


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