Economy improves in rural parts of Nebraska, Iowa but still weak

Jun 19, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy has improved slightly in rural parts of Iowa, Nebraska and eight other Midwestern states, but a new survey suggests little growth ahead.

The overall Rural Mainstreet index improved to the neutral score of 50 in June from last month's 49.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the strong dollar is continuing to hurt crop prices and exports, so farm income is down.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and the Dakotas were surveyed.

The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in that factor in the months ahead.

The weak crop prices and current bird flu outbreak have regional bankers worried. The confidence index registered 45.9 in June, up from 41.5 in May, but still negative.

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