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Iowa State report examines Cerro Gordo County economic trends

AMES, Iowa — Retail sales in most Iowa regions appear to have stabilized over the past fiscal year following a substantial downturn during the recession, according to new reports produced by Liesl Eathington, an assistant scientist in Iowa State University’s Department of Economics

ISU’s annual retail trade analysis is based on state-reported sales of goods and services subject to Iowa’s statewide sales tax. The analysis is used to create reports for all of Iowa’s communities and counties. The new reports include retail performance statistics through fiscal year 2011 (ended June 30, 2011).

Eathington found a slight growth in Iowa retail sales over the last fiscal year.

“Statewide, average per capita sales from fiscal year ’10 to ’11 were fairly flat, growing less than one percent. Still, that was an improvement from the 6.5 percent drop we experienced the year before,” said Eathington, who is director of Iowa State University’s Regional Economics and Community Analysis Program. “And although it was slow, the growth was fairly widespread. More than half of Iowa’s counties experienced growth in real per capita sales in the last year.”

In Cerro Gordo County, this report examines local retail sales and related economic trends using a variety of comparative performance measures.

The report points out dwindling population numbers, persistent unemployment and other factors that affect retail performance in the county.


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