Creighton Main Street Index down in August


Creighton Main Street Index down in August

A new survey of bank CEO’s shows the rural economy is slightly better than it was a month ago.  Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Index shows a sixth straight month in recession.  The overall index for August increased to 44.7 from July’s 44.1, but still well below growth neutral.

The report says farm commodity prices are down more than ten percent over the last year and despite 32-billion dollars in USDA farm support payments, only 8% of bankers in the ten-state region reported an economic improvement.

Home sales and retail sales were both strong, but equipment sales fell for the 83rd straight month and layoffs outpaced new hiring.  Borrowing by farmers expanded for August, but at a slower rate than in July.  Bankers also predict farm loan defaults will go up 5.3% in the next year, up slightly from the July estimate.