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, 50 represents growth neutral.

The Economic Confidence Index plummeted to its lowest level since 2020. Almost 31 percent of bank CEOs in the survey area recommend that the Fed cease raising interest rates. Despite the weaker rural outlook, only 14 percent 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 percent of bank CEOs expect these high farmland prices to plateau, while 22 percent say those land prices will likely decline during the period.

“The rural Mainstreet economy is now experiencing a downturn in economic activity,” says Dr. Ernie Goss. “Last month, almost one in four bankers said the economy was already in a recession.”

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