Is Trouble Brewing for the Farm Economy?


By Sara Schafer, AgWeb 

June 16, 2022


For the first time since September 2020, the rural economy is showing signs of weakness. That’s according to the March Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University.


For June 2022, the RMI sits at 49.8. That is down from May’s 57.7. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50 representing growth neutral and is generated by a monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.


“Much like the nation, the growth in the Rural Mainstreet economy is slowing,” says Ernie Goss, who chairs Creighton’s Heider College of Business and leads the RMI. “Supply chain disruptions from transportation bottlenecks and labor shortages continue to constrain growth. Farmers and bankers are bracing for escalating interest rates — both long-term and short-term.”


Bankers were asked their U.S. recession expectations for the next 12 months. Approximately 92.9% rate the likelihood of a U.S. recession above 50%. Only 7% rated a recession probability below 50%.   


“Fuel prices are starting to have a severe negative impact on rural Nebraska,” shared Jon Schmaderer, CEO of Tri-County Bank in Stuart, Neb.


Farmland Prices Stay Strong ...


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