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Economic Outlook

Recent Survey Results

Mid-America Manufacturing Weak:
Higher Inflation and Fewer New Hires

April 2024 Survey Highlights:

• For the fourth straight month, the overall, or Business Conditions Index, hovered around growth neutral. 
• The region’s manufacturing sector lost jobs for a third straight month. 
• The wholesale price climbed to its highest level in more than a year. 
• Over the past 12 months, the number of job openings for each unemployed worker was 2.1.  This is down from 2.5 recorded 12 months earlier.
• Approximately 68% of supply managers expect a 2024 economic recession.

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Rural Mainstreet Economy in Negative Territory Again
Farm Loans Soared to Record Level

April 2024 Survey Results at a Glance:

• For an eighth straight month, the overall Rural Mainstreet Index sank below growth neutral.
• Only 0.9% of bankers reported higher farm delinquency rates over the past six months. 
• For the 53rd straight month, farmland prices expanded. 
• The farm equipment sales index slumped below growth neutral for the 10th time in the past 11 months. 
• Approximately half of bank CEOs reported that ethanol production was very important to their local economy. 
• According to trade data from the International Trade Association, regional exports of agriculture goods and livestock for 2024 year-to-date were down 7.2% from the same period in 2023.

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