- Overall index falls below growth neutral for first time since January.
- Approximately 37.5 percent of bank CEOs support reducing recently enacted tariffs on imported goods.
- On average, bank CEOs expect holiday retail sales in their area to expand by only 1.7 percent from last year.
- On average, bankers project that farm loan defaults will rise by 5.0 percent over the next year.
OMAHA, Neb. (Nov. 15, 2018) – The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index for November fell below growth neutral for the first time since January of this year, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Overall: The overall index sank to 49.9, its first sub-growth neutral reading since January of this year, and down from October’s 54.3. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“Our surveys over the last several months indicate the Rural Mainstreet economy is expanding outside of agriculture. However, the negative impacts of tariffs and low agriculture commodity prices continue to weaken the farm sector,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
Approximately 37.5 percent of bank CEOs support reducing recently enacted tariffs on imported goods.
Jeffrey Gerhart, CEO of the Bank of Newman Grove, Newman Grove, Nebraska, said, “Farmers continue to feel the negative impact of tariffs and that impacts their ability to make a buck. Farmers do not need this kind disruption in their markets. This is bad policy from the White House.”