Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

Recent Survey Results

Mid-America December Index Expands:
Labor Shortages Slow Employment Growth 

December survey highlights:

* After declining for three straight months, the Business Conditions Index rose for the month, remaining above growth neutral for the 25th straight month.
* Labor shortages pulled the employment index down to growth neutral, but more importantly, slowed quarter four growth.
* Trade numbers, both exports and imports, fell significantly for the month.
* 2019 profit outlook remains strong.

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Rural Mainstreet Index Shows Growth for December:
More Than Half of Bankers Increased Farmer Collateral Requirements

December Survey Results at a Glance:

* Overall index moves above growth neutral for the 10th time in past 12 months.
* Bankers project negative cash flow (losses) for more than one in six grain farmers.
* More than half of bankers have boosted collateral requirements for farm loans due to low agricultural income.
* One-fourth of bank CEOs have made no change in farm lending practices due to weak farm income.
* Approximately one in 10 bank CEOs project 2019 farm loan defaults to rise by over 10 percent over 2018 levels.

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