Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

Recent Survey Results

Mid-America Business Index Climbs Again: Confidence Rises from USMCA and Phase 1 Signing

January survey highlights:

* The overall index moved above growth neutral for the third time in the past four months, rising to its highest reading since March 2019.
* Hiring index rose above growth neutral.
* January passage of the USMCA and Phase 1 of the Chinese trade agreement boosted the regional business confidence index.
* Approximately 56% expect signing of USMCA and Phase 1 of the Chinese agreement to have a positive impact on business prospects.
* Due to the trade war, 28.2% of supply managers report changing international vendors for purchases.

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Rural Mainstreet Index Weakens for February: Trade Deals Push Economic Confidence to Seven-Year High

January Survey Results at a Glance:

Overall index remained above growth neutral, but declined from January’s solid reading.
* The signing of USMCA and the Phase 1 trade agreement with China boosted the monthly economic confidence index to a seven-year high.
* Over the past four years, average annual cash rents on nonpasture farmland declined by only 1.5% to $218.
* Over the past year, the percentage of bank CEOs reporting an upturn in farm loan rejections declined from 30.3% to 3.1%.
* On average, bank CEOs reported that 17.3% of farmland purchases were cash sales. This is down from 22.2% recorded five years ago.
* Approximately four in 10 bankers indicated that their banks had restructured farm loans due to a weak farm economy.

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