The latest Rural Mainstreet Index fell for the fifth straight month and is at the lowest level since August of 2009. Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss conducts the survey of bank CEO’s in rural areas of ten states that include Nebraska. He says that number keeps going down. The index was 41.5 in December to a drop of 34.8 in January.
Goss says, “Banks are telling us with grain prices down, with beef prices down, pork prices down is spilling into the broader economy. Agricultural equipment sales are down to a record low level. We have farmland prices continuing to decline. Of course the global economic slowdown means our trading partners are buying less of our agriculture products.”
Wall Street has been on a roller coaster lately. Many analysts say two big factors impacting the markets are oil prices and the turmoil in China’s economy. Goss says that is a little overstated.
Goss says, “There are a lot of factors that are really going on. Fundamental for example, the market was overpriced to begin with. Now profits have weakened. We’ve got a federal reserve that is raising rates. I think this is not a time to be buying or selling.” Goss says now is not the time to try to “catch a falling knife”.