Creighton University economist Ernie Goss surveys bank CEOs in rural areas of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming and the Dakotas.
Goss said, “Stabilizing and slightly improving farm commodity prices helped push the overall index into a weak but above growth neutral for May. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting that net U.S. farm income will sink by 8.7 percent to $62.3 billion for 2017, the fourth consecutive year of declines after reaching a record high in 2013. This downward trend has weighted on our survey results for almost two years.” (Creighton graphic: Rural Mainstreet Index)
Almost one in four bank CEOs "said the Federal Reserve should raise short-term interest rates at June meetings," Goss notes. "Approximately 28.9 percent of bankers named rising regulatory costs as the biggest challenge to banking operations over the next 5 years. Approximately 11.1 percent of bankers reported farm foreclosures represented the greatest risk to banking operations, more than double the 4.5 percent who identified such foreclosures as the greatest risk in May 2016 survey."