After dropping below growth neutral in March, the June Rural Mainstreet Index expanded above the threshold for a third-straight month to its highest point since May 2022. That’s according to the June monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a ten-state region dependent on agriculture.
The overall June reading is 56.9, the highest since 2022 and up from May’s 55.8. The index range is zero to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. “After negative growth during the first quarter of 2023, the Rural Mainstreet economy experienced positive but slow economic growth for the second quarter,” says Ernie Goss of Creighton University.
The region’s farmland price index jumped from 56.3 in May to 59.3 in June. Bank CEOs ranked Federal Reserve rate hikes as the greatest challenge ahead during the next 12 months. Bankers also continue to have a positive outlook for payment of farm loans in the next year.