Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

Recent Survey Results

Mid-America Strengthens for April:
Skilled Labor Shortage Restrains Growth

April survey highlights:

*  Overall index climbs above growth neutral for a fifth straight month.
*  Employment gauge soars to highest level in more than 10 years.
*  Four of 10 businesses indicate finding and hiring qualified workers is the greatest challenge to their business growth in 2017.
*  Inflation gauge indicates rising wholesale inflationary pressures.
*  Regarding interest rates, only one in five businesses expect a May or June 2017 Federal Reserve rate hike to have a negative impact on their businesses.
*  Healthy trade numbers for the month.

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Rural Mainstreet Climbs to Highest Level in Almost Two Years:
One-Fourth Bank CEOs Support June Fed Rate Hike

 May Survey Results at a Glance:* The overall index rose to highest level since July 2015. * Almost one in four bank CEOs said the Federal Reserve should raise short-term interest rates at June meetings.* Agriculture equipment-sales index jumped to its highest level in more than two years.* Approximately 28.9 percent of bankers named rising regulatory costs as the biggest challenge to banking operations over the next 5 years.* Approximately 11.1 percent of bankers reported farm foreclosures represented the greatest risk to banking operations, more than double the 4.5 percent who identified such foreclosures as the greatest risk in May 2016 survey.

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