Rural Mainstreet Index continues below growth neutral in May

Rural Mainstreet Index continues below growth neutral in May
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May 17th, 2024 | News Release / KNEB News Staff

For a ninth straight month, the overall Rural Mainstreet Index came in below growth neutral according to the May survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region that includes Nebraska.

The region’s overall reading for May fell to 44.2 from 45.8 in April, with Creighton University economist Ernie Goss citing higher interest rates, weaker agriculture commodity prices and higher grain storage costs as the cause.

Of particular note, only 4.2 percent of bankers reported rising farmland prices, and that index hit 47.9 this month, the first time that figure has been below growth neutral in four and a half years.

The farm equipment sales index also continued a negative slide, coming in with a below growth neutral rating for the 11th time in 12 months.

Of positive note for Nebraska – the International Trade Association reported exports of agriculture goods and livestock year-to-date are up 19.4% from the same period in 2023.


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