The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index for Iowa rose to 48.7 this month from August’s 46.2. 

- The survey of bank CEOs in 10 Midwestern states found that Iowa’s farmland-price index improved to 47.4 from August’s 46.1.
- Iowa’s new-hiring index rose to to 55.5 from 51.8 in August. 
- The 0.4% gain in rural jobs in Iowa compares with 1.4% in urban areas. 

Across the Midwest, the index rose slightly above growth-neutral, hitting 50.1. It was 46.5 in August. 

Other key points for the region: 
- More than four in 10 bank CEOs report that their local economy is in a recession. “Despite a $16 billion federal government support package this year and somewhat stronger grain prices, more than four in 10 bankers are reporting that their local economy is in a recession,” said Creighton economist Ernie Goss. 

- Confidence is dropping because of the trade war with China and Congress’ lack of action on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

- Hiring was a high point, with an index of 62.5, up from 55 in August.