Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

Recent Survey Results

Mid-America Business Conditions Index Moves Higher:
Labor Shortages Remain an Issue

May survey results at a glance:

* For a fourth straight month, the overall index remained above growth neutral.
* For the first time since August 2015, the employment gauge climbed above growth neutral 50.0.
* Over the past two years, regional exports declined by 8.1 percent compared to a smaller 4.7 percent loss for the U.S. economy.
* More than one-fourth of businesses reported finding and hiring qualified workers as the greatest challenge to business prospects for the rest of 2016.
* More than one-fifth of businesses expect a negative impact from a June Federal Reserve rate hike.

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Rural Mainstreet Economy Remains Weak for June:
Bankers Tighten Farm Loans

June Survey Results at a Glance:
* For a tenth straight month, the Rural Mainstreet Index remained below growth neutral.
* Farmland prices remained below growth neutral for the 31st straight month.
* Due to the weak agriculture economy, 73.5 percent of bankers increased collateral requirements, half boosted interest rates, and 35.3 percent rejected a higher percentage of farm loans.
* Rural Mainstreet businesses boosted hiring for the month.

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