Rural economy slows in September, RMI says

The latest Rural Mainstreet Index suggests economic conditions could worsen for the ag industry heading into 2024.

Ernie Goss is an economist with Creighton University. “It was the lowest reading since March of this year. We’re seeing things slow down in the agricultural sector and that’s spilling over into the rural economy. Of course, job growth is not as strong.”

The index is a survey of ag bankers in 10 states including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Goss tells Brownfield rising interest rates will be one of the biggest challenges for producers moving forward. “The Fed is really trying to make sure that everybody understands that, ‘hey, we’re here to stop inflation in its tracks and if you don’t believe it, watch us.’”

He says fewer than 4% of bankers reported an upturn in farm loan delinquencies over the past six months.

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