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Economic Outlook

Recent Survey Results

Mid-America Manufacturing Index Flashes Recession Warning
Job Losses with Rising Inflationary Pressures

November 2023 Survey Highlights

• Overall index drops to its lowest level since June 2020, or the early days of the pandemic.
• Overall index is in a range indicating recessionary conditions in the regional manufacturing sector. 
• U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data show that the region has lost 12,000 manufacturing jobs since April of this year.
• Survey results indicate jobs losses for the month combined with a significant upturn in inflationary pressures.
• Approximately six of 10 supply managers named the looming recession as the top threat to their firm’s business activity. 
• According to BLS data, the regional average manufacturing wage rate climbed by 3.4% over the past 12 months or slightly above the 3.2% increase in consumer prices.
• As reported by one supply manager, “Rising prices and labor costs continue to plague our business even though we continue to do more with less.”

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Rural Mainstreet Economy Slumps to Lowest Level in Three Years
Bank CEO Economic Confidence Plummets to Record Low 

November 2023 Survey Results at a Glance:

• For a third straight month, the overall Rural Mainstreet Index sank below growth neutral to a three-year low.
• Banker economic confidence dropped to its lowest level since initiation of the survey in 2006.
• For the first time since January of this year, the checking deposit index advanced above growth neutral. 
• For the fifth time in the past six months, farm equipment sales declined.
• Approximately 84.5% of bankers urged the Federal Reserve to make no changes to interest rates at its next meetings on December 12-13. 
• Approximately 88.5% of bank CEOs reported that available jobs outnumbered available workers in their local economy.
• According to the International Trade Administration, the export of agriculture products from the region declined from $9.8 billion for the first nine months of 2022 to $8.6 billion for the same period in 2023 for a 12.7% slump. 

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