The farm equipment sales index showed economic expansion for the first time since June 2013 in the December Rural Mainstreet Index released by Creighton University today.
The overall index rose to 51.6 from November’s 46.8. That was the second highest reading in the past 10 months. It was 53.2 in October.
The December farm equipment-sales index increased to 50.2. After 86 straight months of readings below growth neutral, farm equipment bounced into growth territory for the month. The reading was 42.9 in November.
The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50 representing growth neutral.
“Recent improvements in agriculture commodity prices, federal farm support payments, and the Federal Reserve’s record low interest rates have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
The confidence index, which reflects bank CEO expectations for the economy six months out, soared to 62.9 from November’s 50.
“Federal farm support payments, improving grain prices, and advancing exports have supported confidence offsetting pessimism from the impact of the pandemic,” Goss said.
Each month, community bank presidents and CEOs in nonurban agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of a 10-state area are surveyed regarding current economic conditions in their communities, and their projected economic outlooks six months down the road.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are included.