Slow growth in region predicted by banker survey

Nov 21, 2013 The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. -- The overall index in a new monthly survey matches the previous index and also suggests the economy will continue growing at a slow pace in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states.

The report for the Rural Mainstreet Index was released Thursday and says the index remained unchanged at 54.3 in November.

"The overall index for the Rural Mainstreet Economy continues to point to positive, but slow economic growth in the months ahead," said Ernie Goss, the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University, which hosts the survey.

The November RMI for Wyoming also was unchanged from October's 55.1.

The November farmland and ranchland price index in the stet increased to 46.4 from 43.6 in October.

Wyoming's new-hiring index moved lower to 49.2 from October's 50.7.

This survey is intended as an early snapshot of the economy of rural, agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The index focuses on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. Goss and Bill McQuillan, president of CNB Community Bank of

Greeley, Neb., created the monthly economic survey in 2005.

The index is based on surveys of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

It ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead.

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