- Overall index moves above growth neutral for the 11th time in past 12 months.
- More than four of 10 bank CEOs expect farm loan defaults to be biggest 2019 challenge.
- More than one third of bankers support the Federal Reserve holding on 2019 rate hikes.
- Only 22.9 percent, or slightly more than one in five, bankers reported expanding economic conditions in their area.
Overall: The overall index sank to 51.5 from December’s 54.2. This was the 11th time in the past 12 months the index has remained above growth neutral. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“Our surveys over the last several months indicate the Rural Mainstreet economy is expanding outside of agriculture. However, the negative impacts of tariffs and low agriculture commodity prices continue to weaken the farm sector,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.