Creighton University has released its latest Rural Mainstreet Index, relaying the same lackluster information to rural America.
For the 17th month straight, the RMI remained below growth neutral. One third of the bankers surveyed say soaring loan defaults represented the greatest rural mainstreet banking threat for 2017. 90 percent say the low agriculture commodity prices represented the biggest threat to the rural economy for 2017.
“Most producers are getting back to really looking at the profitability effect of their management decisions,” said Alan Hoskins, CEO of American Farm Mortgage. “That’s a positive. We needed to see that coming back into play, but I think they’re also very concerned given the fact with current price levels, they are below the cost of production.
The RMI shows the farmland price index for January rose slightly, but it’s still anemic.
This is the 38th straight month the index has hovered below growth neutral.