Monday, August 22, 2016

Rural Mainstreet Index in ag heartland has been on negative side for 12 straight months

The Rural Mainstreet Index has now been below 50, indicating economic decline, for 12 straight months. The index comes from surveys by Creighton University economist Ernie Goss of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy. The latest survey found that farmland prices are below growth-neutral for the 33rd consecutive month, with bank CEOs saying they expect land prices to fall by another 6.9 percent over the next 12 months. The survey also found that agricultural equipment sales remain close to record low.

Goss said, "Over the past 12 months, farm prices have fallen by 11 percent, cattle prices are off by 22 percent and grain prices are down by 20 percent. Weak agricultural commodity prices are pushing farm income lower and sinking the overall Rural Mainstreet economy." The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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