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Latest bankers survey indicates shrinking rural economy

Omaha, Nebraska – The latest monthly survey of bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states indicates a shrinking rural economy, and three-quarters of bankers said President Donald Trump’s trade policies are having a negative effect on their local economies.

The Rural Mainstreet survey released Thursday shows the overall index falling from an already anemic 50.2 in July to 46.5 this month. Any score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says trade tensions “are driving growth lower for areas of the region with close ties to agriculture.” 

Goss also noted that despite negative consequences from tariffs, nearly 7 of 10 bank CEOS surveyed support either raising or continuing the Trump administration’s current tariffs.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

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