DAVENPORT, IOWA (September 15, 2021) — The Quad Cities Chamber issued their Quarterly Market Report for the second quarter of 2021. The report is a summary of our regional economic position and the contributions and impacts within each of our region’s business sectors — manufacturing, logistics, ag innovation, defense, corporate office, and non-primary industries. The report provides the trends and data to help inform companies doing business within the region.
Key takeaways include:
- The Davenport location decision for Amazon’s expanding distribution network provides a major investment and employment opportunity for the region, not seen in decades.
- Recovery is cautious, as employers try to anticipate the impacts of the coronavirus variants, supply-chain disruptions, and labor force shortages.
- Continued supply-chain shortages and delays leave businesses resigned to accept what is available to them, rescheduling or delaying production and delivery as well as sometimes necessitating raising prices on goods or services.
- Industry continues to be challenged by replacing career positions vacated by the aging workforce with candidates that have the necessary technical education skills (STEM).
- Continuing workforce and productivity challenges have accelerated the exploration and utilization of Industry 4.0’s automation, interconnectivity, machine learning and real-time data within business operations.
- Restaurants and the retail sector see more customers coming into their establishments, though still challenged with limited staffing to take full advantage of the increased traffic.
- Despite a national cautious recovery, businesses outside the region continue to plan for expansion and potential relocation as the Quad Cities Chamber's regional project volume continues to outpace last year’s request for information proposals.
Each report provides an economic analysis for the quarter by Dr Kenneth A Kriz, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois. A portion of the report is included below.
- In the second quarter of 2021, the national economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and associated mitigation measures continued. However, many pressures began to emerge that showed signs of potentially derailing the economy. The Quad Cities regional economy in many ways continued to drift, continuing a trend we first saw at the end of 2020 and early in 2021.
- On the national level, the advanced estimate for second quarter Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth released in late July came in 6.5%. The “output gap” — the difference between Real GDP in Q2 2021 and where it was forecast to be prior to COVID — narrowed to under $500 billion. If the national economy continues the same pace that it has since Q4 2020 (when the pandemic-related economic plunge and subsequent recovery leveled off), the output gap will be closed by this time next year.