Rural Mainstreet Index Climbs for June

The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) increased from May to June, but there is progress still to be made.

The overall index climbed to 37.9 from May’s 12.5 and April’s record low 12.1.

The index ranges between 0 and 100. A reading of 50 represents growth neutral.

The June farm equipment-sales index increased to 32.8 from 21.9 in May.

“Even with a slight recent rebound in prices, farm commodity prices are down by 7.3 percent over the last 12 months. As a result, and despite the initiation of $16 billion in USDA farm support payments, only 3 percent of bankers reported positive economic growth,” said Ernie Goss, Ph.D., chair in regional economics at Creighton.

The confidence index, which reflects bank CEO expectations for the economy six months out, improved to 43.8 from May’s 22.1.

Each month, community bank presidents and CEOs in non-urban agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of a 10-state area are surveyed regarding current economic conditions in their communities, and their projected economic outlooks.