- After six consecutive months of below growth neutral readings, the region’s overall economic reading rose above the growth neutral threshold for a second straight month.
- In terms of 2023 threats to farms in their area, bank CEOs ranked higher input prices as the greatest threat, followed by higher interest rates.
- In terms of 2023 threats to rural bankers, bank CEOs ranked low loan demand as the greatest threat to rural banks, followed by rising regulatory costs.
- Farmland prices continued to expand.
- Despite higher interest rates, solid farm income pushed farm equipment sales higher.
Overall: The region’s overall reading in January rose above the growth neutral threshold. The January index climbed to 53.8 from 50.1 in December. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.