- For a sixth straight month the overall index rose above growth neutral.
- Almost one-third of bank CEOs recommended that the Federal Reserve leave short-term interest rates at their current levels for the rest of the year.
- More than three of five, or 78 percent, of bank CEOs reported that current trade skirmishes and rising tariffs have had a negative impact on their local economy.
- Approximately 75.6 percent of bankers reported negative impacts of trade rifts and tariffs on grain farmers in their area.
- Economic confidence plummeted among bankers for the month.
Overall: The overall index slid to 53.8 from 56.1 in June. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“Surveys over the past several months indicate the Rural Mainstreet economy is solid but with less positive economic growth. However, the negative impacts of recent trade skirmishes have begun to surface with the weakening of already anemic grain prices,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
Pete Haddeland, CEO of the First National Bank in Mahnomen, Minnesota, said, “Grain prices are at, in some cases, 10-year lows. Not good.”
According to Fritz Kuhlmeier, CEO of Citizens State Bank in Lena, Illinois, “The trade issues/tariffs have been devastating on our local dairy industry when tacked on top of already below cost or breakeven milk prices.”