Aug 19, 2011 at 9:45 am
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A Creighton University surveyof bankers suggests the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states is slowing down as concerns about the country's financial health grow.
The overall Rural Mainstreet index dipped below 50 for the first time this year when it hit 49.3 in August. Anytime that index, which ranges from 0 to 100, is below 50, it suggests the economy will contract.
Omaha, Nebraska-based economist Ernie Goss says even though farm income remains healthy, rural businesses aren't hiring much, and the bankers are less confident in the economy. The jobs index stayed at 49.3 in August, and the confidence index fell to 44 from July's 55.
Bankers in rural parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas and seven other states participate in the survey.