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The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index measured above growth
neutral in June for a fifth straight month. This is the first time since
July 2015 the survey has recorded five straight months of overall indices
above growth neutral, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in
rural areas of a Midwest dependent on agriculture. However, the overall
index slid slightly to 56.1 from 56.3 in May. Further, organizers caution
that “the negative impacts of recent trade skirmishes has yet to show up”
in the survey results. As part of the survey, bankers responses project
farmland prices to sink by another 2.1 percent over the next year, and the
confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months
out, fell to 48.8 from May’s 50.0, indicating declining economic optimism
among bankers. Bankers also say in the survey that over the past month
borrowing by farmers expanded, as the loan-volume index rose to 76.3 from
74.3 in May.

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