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News Brief

Jan. 25, 2024Omaha, Neb. |  By: Jeremy Werner

Economic indicator shows continued economic issues


OMAHA, Neb. - January's Rural Mainstreet Index survey shows that rural economies are facing their fifth consecutive month below the growth-neutral mark.

Despite a slight uptick from December, the overall reading for January is at 48.1, indicating continued economic challenges.

Rising interest rates, weakening agricultural commodity prices, and credit constraints are cited as significant negative factors.

Farm equipment sales, hog producers, and farm clients undergoing generational transitions are particularly affected. Rural bankers express pessimism about economic growth over the next six months, with confidence indices sinking.

Home and retail sales are also impacted by high consumer debt and elevated interest rates.

The survey covers 10 regional states, including Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, and focuses on approximately 200 rural communities, providing real-time analysis of the rural economy.