Bankers survey: Rural economy stays strong in 10 states

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new monthly survey of bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows the region’s rural economy remains strong.

However, bankers say they have growing concerns about the rising costs associated with running farms. The overall Rural Mainstreet economic index released Thursday fell in January to 61.1 from December’s 66.7. Any score above 50 suggests growth.

Bankers say high inflation is affecting the prices of farm supplies, from fuel to fertilizer. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says higher grain prices, low short-term interest rates and growing agricultural exports are helping the regional economy.

The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.