The rural economy in 10 Midwest and Great Plains states appears to be on the upswing. A survey of bankers released Thursday finds the farm economy growing at a "very healthy pace."
The Rural Mainstreet Index jumped from 52.9 last month to 58.4 this month, the highest since June 2007. Anytime the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, is above 50, it suggests the economy will grow.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the results were helped by farmland price growth, which continues at a rapid pace. The farmland price index rose to 75.4 from October's 66.9, the 22nd straight month the index has been above growth-neutral 50.
The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
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