Rural Midwest, West growth slowing, report says


June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A June survey report says growth in rural areas of 10 Midwestern and Western states has slowed. The report released Thursday says the Rural Mainstreet Index hit its lowest level of the year, 56.7, compared with 58.5 in May.  But survey organizers say any survey index score above 50 on the 100-point scale suggests growth in the months ahead.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey of rural bankers. Goss says the global economic slowdown, combined with a stronger U.S. dollar, have pushed agriculture and energy prices lower. He says downward pressure that weakens overall growth for rural parts of the 10 states.  The states are Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.