Bankers say economy to stay weak in rural parts of 10 states

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Bankers expect economic activity to remain slow in rural parts of 10 Western and Plains states over the next few months.

The region’s economic index declined again in December to 41.5 from November’s 43.7. Any score below 50 on one of the survey’s indexes suggests that factor will decline.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the monthly survey of rural bankers released Thursday. He says the current low energy and crop prices are slowing the economy.

The strong U.S. dollar and a slower pace of manufacturing are also factors.

The bankers aren’t very optimistic. The confidence index remained in negative territory even though it improved slightly to 39.8 in December from November’s 38.9.

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

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