Survey shows rural economy continues to weaken in 10 states

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly survey of bankers suggests there’s been a drop in the already weak economic outlook for rural areas of 10 Western and Plains states.

A report issued Thursday on the Rural Mainstreet Index says it fell to 39.8 this month from 43.9 in June. Survey officials say any score below 50 on any of the survey’s indexes suggests a decline in that area.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the overall index has remained below growth-neutral for 11 straight months. He says that over the past 12 months, farm prices are down 9 percent and livestock prices are down 16 percent.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.