- For a fourth straight month the overall index rose above growth neutral.
- On average, bankers expect farm loan defaults to rise by only 3.0 percent over the next 12 months.
- Over the past year, average annual cash rents on farmland declined by 3.0 percent to $239 per acre.
- More than one-third of bank CEOs identified rising regulatory costs as the top economic challenge to their banking operations over the next five years.
OMAHA, Neb. (May 17, 2018) – The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index climbed above growth neutral in May for a fourth straight month, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy. This is the first time since the July 2015 that we have recorded four straight months of overall indices above growth neutral.
Overall: The overall index rose to 56.3, its highest level since July 2013, and up from 53.5 in April. 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 trending upward with improving, and positive economic growth. While agriculture commodity prices have improved recently, prices remain below breakeven for a large share of grain farmers,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
More than one-third, or 36.4 percent of bank CEOs identified rising regulatory costs as the top economic challenge to their banking operations over the next five years.