The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for June rose above growth neutral for the month.
The overall index climbed to 53.2 from 48.5 in May. This is the sixth time in the past seven months that the index has risen above growth neutral. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with 50 representing growth neutral.
“Higher agriculture commodity prices and rebuilding from recent floods boosted the Rural Mainstreet Index for the month,” said Ernie Goss, Ph.D., from Creighton University. “Furthermore, despite the negatives from the trade war, 69.4 percent of bankers support either raising, or continuing current tariffs.”
The June farm equipment-sales index increased to 35.7 from May’s 31.3.
Borrowing by farmers for June remained very strong, Goss said. The borrowing index dipped to 72.6 from May’s 79.7 after hitting a record high 81.3 in April.
The confidence index, which reflects bank CEO expectations for the economy six months out, expanded to 53.3 from May’s disappointing 38.2, indicating a positive, but somewhat weak economic outlook among bankers.
The index is based upon responses to a monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Participating states are Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.