Not good news for some….
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The Rural Mainstreet Index moved to its lowest level in more than four years, according to the October survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy. The index has been trending lower since June 2013 when the reading stood at 60.5.
Overall: The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI), which ranges between 0 and 100, with 50.0 representing growth neutral, sank to 43.4, its lowest level since February 2010, and down from September’s 48.2.
“The stronger U.S. dollar, weaker global growth and abundant supplies have pushed U.S. grain prices down by more than 30 percent over the last 12 months. This has weakened the farm economy. Furthermore, the same factors have weakened oil prices and I expect these lower prices to begin negatively affecting areas of the region heavily dependent on energy commodity sales,” said Ernie Goss, Ph.D., the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.