The index, measured on a scale of 100, was 45.8 in February, up from 42.8 in January. It was at 49 in September 2015. Only 14.9 percent of bankers indicated their local economy was expanding, while 34 percent said their local economy remains in an economic downturn. "On average, farmland prices have declined by 5.1 percent over the past 12 months. Approximately 73.9 percent of bankers expect agriculture-equipment sales to continue to decline in their area over the next year."
Goss said, “Weak farm commodity prices continue to squeeze Rural Mainstreet economies. However, the negatives are getting less negative. Over the past 12 months, livestock commodity prices have tumbled by 9.4 percent and grain commodity prices have slumped by 6.3 percent, both an improvement over last month." (Creighton graphic: Rural Mainstreet Index)