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Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) Rises

The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for September climbed above growth neutral.

The index is calculated according to a monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.

The overall index rose to 50.1 from 46.5 in August. This marks the third time in the past five months that the overall index has risen above growth neutral.

“Despite a $16 billion federal government support package this year and somewhat stronger grain prices, more than four in 10 bankers are reporting that their local economy is in a recession,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.

The Nebraska RMI for September rose to 47.6 from August’s 44.4. The state’s farmland-price index slipped to 42.3 from last month’s 43.5. Nebraska’s new-hiring index slumped to 45.2 from August’s 46.8.

Over the past 12 months rural areas in Nebraska have lost jobs at a rate of minus 1.4% compared to a stronger 1.6% for urban areas of the state.   Jim Stanosheck, CEO of State Bank in Odell, said, “It doesn’t look like Trump’s tariffs are going to save the agriculture economy.”

READ MORE: Former Employee Accused Of Stealing From Nebraska Department of  Education

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