Rural Mainstreet Economy Shrinks for Six Straight Months
The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index fell below growth-neutral for the sixth-consecutive month. On a scale of one to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral, the Economic Confidence Index plummeted to its lowest level since 2020. Almost 31% of bank CEOs in the survey area recommend that the Fed cease raising interest rates.
Despite the weaker rural outlook, only 14% of the CEOs say their bank had increased financial commitments on farm loans. Farmland demand remains strong as the Farmland Price index climbed above 50 for the 26th month in a row. Almost 61% of bank CEOs expect these high farmland prices to plateau, while 22% say those land prices will likely decline during the period.
“The rural Mainstreet economy is now experiencing a downturn in economic activity,” said Dr. Ernie Goss. “Last month, almost one in four bankers said the economy was already in a recession.”
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