Rural economy concerns continue, economist says

An ag economist says he’s concerned about the weakening farm economy.

Ernie Goss with Creighton University says, “The communities out there in this part of the nation that depend heavily on what’s going on in agriculture and energy, they’re of course not as strong. We’re talking about housing, we’re talking about retail sales still not as strong as what we saw a couple of years ago.”

He tells Brownfield higher interest rates are challenge, but a decrease in U.S. agricultural exports has been one of the biggest factors. “Agriculture exports for 2023 were down compared to 2022 by 8-9%. Now that’s a fairly hefty decline in in exports.”

Goss says some Midwestern bankers have reported tightened credit standards as a result of weaker commodity prices.

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