Friday, May 18, 2012

Rural economy in Midwest, Plains keeps growing

The rural economy in the Midwest and Great Plains continued to grow this month, despite a decrease in farmland prices for the second month in a row, reports Ross Boettcher of the Omaha World-Herald. The Rural Mainstreet Index, based on a Creighton University survey of rural bankers, measures the growth of rural economy in an 11-state region. On a scale from 1 to 100, with numbers over 50 representing economic growth, the May index for the region was 58.5, compared to 57.1 in April.

Bankers across the region said loan demand from farmers continues to increase while checking deposits decreased. This means that for every $1 deposited, 64 cents was loaned. The hiring index in the states was "essentially flat," reports Boettcher, and some states fared better than others, with Iowa's index increasing to 60.2 percent from 58.3 last month. Nebraska's index fell, though, from 52.2 to 50.1. (Read more)

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