Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

Recent Survey Results

February Mid-America Index Jumps to Highest Level in Almost 3 Years: 
Inflation and Confidence Numbers Move Higher

February survey highlights:

* Overall index climbs for a fourth straight month to its highest level since April 2014.
* The region adds manufacturing jobs at a solid pace.
* Wholesale inflation gauge climbs to its highest level since April 2014.
* Business confidence index soars to highest level in six years.
* To enable a corporate tax rate cut, more than one-third of businesses support tax on imports.
* More than one-half of businesses think that a corporate income tax rate cut would have positive impacts on their business prospects for 2017.

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Rural Mainstreet Sinks for the Month: 
Farmland Cash Rents Fall 16 Percent from Last Year

March Survey Results at a Glance:

*  The overall index fell below growth neutral for the 19th straight month.
*  Rural Mainstreet businesses, not directly linked to farming, expanded employment for the month.
*  Average annual cash rents for crop acreage was $211 per acre, which is down 16 percent from last year according to bank CEOs.
*  More than seven of 10 bank CEOs expect farm loan defaults to rise over the next 12 months. Almost one in six bankers expect such defaults to expand by more than 10 percent.
*   Almost one-third of bankers report that property taxes are a major economic problem for farmers in their area.

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