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News Brief

Nov. 20, 2023Omaha, Neb. |  By: Jeremy Werner

Economy index shows growth-neutral threshold continuing


OMAHA, Neb. - The Rural Mainstreet Index has recorded its third consecutive month below the growth-neutral threshold.

According to the November 2023 survey of bank CEOs, the overall index dropped to 40.4, marking the weakest reading in over three years.

Officials behind the index at Creighton University attribute this decline to a subdued farm and non-farm economy.

Despite the general economic downturn, the farmland price index rose to 66.7, indicating continued, albeit slowing, growth.

However, farm equipment sales remained weak at 49.5, with higher borrowing costs negatively impacting purchases.

Several bankers expressed concerns about the economic losses of pork producers, exemplified by the closure of a hog integrator in Iowa.

The International Trade Administration reported a 12.7% decline in agriculture product exports from the region. The survey covers 10 rural states, including Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.