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Iowa Rural Mainstreet Index falls


Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Index for Iowa dropped to 47.3 this month from 48 in December.

Anything above 50 suggests growth. 

Iowa’s farmland price index for January rose to 42.4 from December’s 39.8. The state’s new-hiring index for January fell to 52.1 from December’s 60.

The regional index for the 10-state region fell to 46.8 from 47.8 in December. “While the overall Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for January declined and remained below growth neutral, year-over-year indices are trending higher. Clearly, based on our recent surveys, the negatives are getting less negative,” Creighton’s Ernie Goss, the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics, said in a statement.

Both the hiring index and the confidence level for the area fell. “Concerns about trade, especially current NAFTA negotiations, and low agriculture commodity prices continue to restrain bankers’ economic outlook,” Goss said. “Approximately 71.2 percent of bankers projected that any interruption or abolition of NAFTA would have a negative impact on their area.” 

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