A new monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy is improving in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. But Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the region still has about 95,000 fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic began, and it will take many months of growth to erase all the job losses.
- Overall index rose to its second highest reading in the past 10 months.
- For the first time since June 2013, the farm equipment-sales index rose above growth neutral.
- For the first time since 2013, the farmland price index rose above growth neutral for three straight months.
The Nebraska RMI for December jumped to 54.2 from 45.1 in November. The state’s farmland-price index declined to 56.2 from last month’s 58.7. Nebraska’s new-hiring index fell to 52.3 from 56.9 in November. Over the past 12 months, Nebraska’s Rural Mainstreet economy has lost 2.6% of its nonfarm employment compared to a 2.5% loss for urban areas of the state.
The overall index for the region improved to 51.6 in December from November’s 46.8. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy while a score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.