- After falling below growth neutral for August the Rural Mainstreet Index jumped slightly above the 50.0 reading for September.
- More than four in 10 bank CEOs report that their local economy is in a recession.
- As a result of continuing weakness in the farm sector, more than half of bankers reported increasing collateral for farm loans, and one in four rejected a higher percent of farm loan applications.
- Bankers expect farm equipment sales in their area to decline by another 7.4% over the next 12 months.
Overall: The overall index rose to 50.1 from 46.5 in August. This marks the third time in the past five months that the overall index has risen above growth neutral.
The trade war with China and the lack of passage of the USMCA (NAFTA’s replacement) are driving confidence and growth lower for most areas of the region.
“Despite a $16 billion federal government support package this year and somewhat stronger grain prices, more than four in 10 bankers are reporting that their local economy is in a recession,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
As reported by Dale L. Leighty, chairman and CEO at First National Bank of Las Animas, Colorado, “Grain prices are (still) a big negative for our customers.”