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Rural Mainstreet Economy Goes Negative for March

After three straight months of readings slightly above growth neutral, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index fell below the growth neutral threshold. The March index slumped to 45.6 from 50.1 in February. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.

However, survey organizer Ernie Goss of Creighton University says farm credit is in a good position currently.

The slowing economy, higher borrowing costs and labor shortages continued to constrain the business confidence index to a weak 39.1 from 44.4 in February. Although, Goss says farmers remain in a good spot for now.

The region’s farmland price index decreased to 63.0 from February’s 63.5. This was the 30th straight month that the index has advanced above 50.0. As a result of solid farm financial conditions, the farm equipment-sales index climbed to 59.5 from 52.1 in February. The index has risen above growth neutral for 26 of the last 28 months.

Story and audio provided by NAFB News Service and George Bower, KICD, Spencer, Iowa
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