Creighton University’s Business Conditions Index for Iowa rose to 54.8 in January, up from 53.5. Anything above 50 suggests growth. 

The survey of supply managers found new orders at 57.8, production or sales at 52.2, delivery lead time at 50.9, employment at 56.7, and inventories at 56.2. "Over the past 12 months, nondurable goods manufacturers in the state have expanded jobs by a very healthy 2.8 percent, while Iowa durable goods producers have added jobs at an even stronger pace of 3.9 percent," said Creighton economist Ernie Goss.

The overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index, covering nine states, rose to its highest level since September at 56.0, up from 55.2 in December. 

"The regional economy continues to expand at a positive pace. However, as in recent months, shortages of skilled workers and international trade tension/tariffs remain an impediment to even stronger growth. More than eight of 10 supply managers reported buying from abroad was an important factor in company success," said Goss. 

Manufacturing employment continued to grow. "Overall manufacturing employment growth in the region over the past 12 months has been very healthy at 2.4 percent, compared to a lower 2.3 percent for the U.S," said Goss. "I expect this gap to close in the months ahead as regional job growth slows faster than national manufacturing job growth. Regional job growth for durable goods producers has been approximately three times that of nondurable goods manufacturers over recent months."