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Rural Mainstreet Economic Outlook Soars To Highest Level Since 2011

(KFOR NEWS  February 19, 2021)  For the 4th time in the past 5 months, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) climbed above growth neutral.  According to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy, the index increased to its highest level since January 2020.

February Survey Results at a Glance:

  • Overall index rose to its highest reading since January 2020.
  • Business and economic outlook soared to its highest level since March 2011.
  • Bank CEOs estimated 2021 cash land rent for non-irrigated, non-pastureland at $218.
  • Rural Mainstreet retail sales remain very weak.
  • The February farmland price index climbed to its highest level since May 2013.
  • Bankers expect farm equipment sales to expand by 3.8% over the next 12 months.

The overall index for February rose to 53.8 from January’s 52.0. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.  Only 8% of bank CEOs indicated economic conditions worsened from the previous month.

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