Rural economy expands in June RMI survey
An ag economist says there’s some optimism in the rural economy despite high interest rates.
Ernie Goss with Creighton University says the latest Rural Mainstreet Index rose to its highest level since May 2022.
“Things are growing in the rural Mainstreet economy based upon agriculture, energy, and some other areas,” he said. “Certainly, the concern out there right now is rate hikes.”
The index is a survey of ag bankers in 10 states including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
He tells Brownfield the June report revealed a decline in farm equipment sales.
“Farmers are paying higher interest rates on operating loans and that has cut into the purchases of agricultural equipment.”
Goss says bankers expect farm loan defaults to expand less than 1% over the next 12 months.