Survey: Bankers losing confidence in 10-state farm economy

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. — A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows bankers are losing confidence in the future of the region’s farm economy in the wake of falling farm income and rising floodwaters.

The Rural Mainstreet survey for March shows the survey’s confidence index dropping to 45.7 from February’s 48.5. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy in the months ahead, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, said March floods, tariffs, trade tensions and anemic farm income “negatively influenced the economic outlook of bank CEOs.”

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The survey shows more than half of supply managers reported negative economic impacts from flooding.

The overall index expanded to 52.9 from 50.2 in February.

According to a press release, bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.