Dec 18, 2009 8:29 AM by Associated Press

Survey suggests rural economy remains weak

For a fourth straight month, signs from a survey of rural bankers that includes Colorado suggest that economic recovery is inching along in 11 Midwest and Plains states.

The Rural Mainstreet Index rose to 40.9 in December, from 38.4 in November, 37.5 in October and 36.5 in September. The survey's record low was 16.9 in February.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says declines in farm income continue to weigh heavily on rural, agriculturally dependent economies. The index runs 0 to 100.

Organizers say a score below 50 suggests the economy will contract in the next few months; above 50 indicates the economy will expand.

The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.


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