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A Creighton University survey of rural Midwestern bankers in October found a cautiously optimistic outlook, with the overall Rural Mainstreet Index climbing slightly above growth-neutral, its highest reading since January. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50 representing growth-neutral. In September the overall index was 46.9, but this month's was 53.2.
- Overall index advanced for a sixth straight month to its highest level since January of this year.
- More than eight of 10 bank CEOs identified restaurants/bars as experiencing the greatest negative impact from covid-19.
- Only 3% of bankers named farmers as experiencing the greatest negative covid-19 impacts.
- For only the third time in the past 82 months, the farmland price index advanced above growth neutral.
- Bank CEOs estimated that farm equipment sales will fall by an additional 3.1% over the next 12 months.
- More than one-third, or 35.5%, of bank CEOs reported that their local economies were experiencing recessionary economic conditions.