The Rural Mainstreet Index released each month by Creighton University shows a recovering rural economy and strong ag equipment sales.
The overall index for July fell to a healthy 65.6 from June’s strong 70. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with an index number higher than 50 representing growth. Over a third of bank CEOs reported that their local economies expanded from June to July.
The July farm equipment-sales index declined to 67.2 from 71.6 in June, a still-strong showing. This is the longest run in growth territory the equipment sales index has recorded since 2012.
The confidence index, which reflects bank CEO expectations for the economy six months out, decreased to 65.6 from June’s 71.7.
“Federal stimulus checks, healthy grain prices, and advancing exports have supported strong confidence numbers over the last several months,” said Ernie Goss, chair in regional economics at Creighton University.
Each month, community bank presidents and CEOs in rural communities dependent upon agriculture and energy are surveyed on their local economies to produce this monthly index.