Strong farm income is helping the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states continue to grow slowly, according to a new monthly survey of bankers released Thursday. The overall Rural Mainstreet index for the region improved to 52.2 in September from last month’s 49.3, suggesting weak economic growth. Anytime that index, which ranges from 0 to 100, is above 50, it suggests the economy will grow.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says this month’s results don’t suggest a recession but the numbers have deteriorated from earlier this year.
Bankers in rural parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are surveyed. The bankers surveyed aren’t optimistic that the nation’s leaders in Washington, D.C., will be able to do much to help the economy.
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