- After hovering around growth neutral for three straight months, the region’s overall economic reading slumped below the threshold to its lowest reading since October of last year.
- Farmland prices have now advanced for 30 straight months.
- After advancing by over 9% for 2022, bank CEOs expect farmland prices to expand by only 1% over the next 12 months.
- Only 13.6% of bankers tightened credit standards for farm loans this year.
- Approximately 87% of bankers recommend a Federal Reserve rate hike at its next meetings, March 21-22, with almost one-third supporting a 0.50% increase.
- Bank savings deposits rose to a record level.
OMAHA, Neb. (March 16, 2023) -- After three straight months of readings slightly above growth neutral, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) fell below the growth neutral threshold, 50.0, according to the latest monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Overall: The region’s overall reading in March sank below the growth neutral threshold. The March index slumped to 45.6 from 50.1 in February. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“The Rural Mainstreet economy continues to experience slow, to no, to negative economic growth. Less than 1% of bankers reported improving economic conditions for the month with 92% indicating no change in economic conditions from February’s slow growth,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
Farming and Ranching: The region’s farmland price index decreased to 63.0 from February’s 63.5. This was the 30th straight month that the index has advanced above 50.0.