- Overall index rocketed to a record high for the month.
- Approximately, 68.8% of bank CEOs reported an expanding local economy, while the remaining 31.2% indicated little or no growth.
- The farmland price index advanced its highest level since November 2012.
- The farm equipment-sales index rose to its highest reading since February 2013.
- Approximately 82.8% of bank CEOs recommended that the Federal Reserve raise interest rates by at least one-fourth of one percentage point in the next 12 months.
- Despite recent job gains, the region’s nonfarm employment level remains 218,600 jobs below its pre-COVID-19 level.
Overall: The overall index for March soared to a record high 71.9 from February’s solid 53.8. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.
Approximately, 68.8% of bank CEOs reported that their local economy was expanding, while the remaining 31.2% indicated little or no growth.
“Sharp gains in grain prices, federal farm support, and the Federal Reserve’s record-low interest rates have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy. Only 3.1% of bank CEOs indicated economic conditions worsened from the previous month. Even so, current rural economic activity remains below pre-pandemic levels,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.