Rural bankers survey index remains low in face of outbreak

(Farm Landscape, Photo Date: 8/2/14 / Source: RichardBH / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new survey of bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states inched upward in May from April's record low, but still remained profoundly low as efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the rural economy.

The overall index for the region rose slightly to 12.5 from April's record low of 12.1. Any score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says nearly three of every four bankers surveyed reported restructuring farm loans to deal with weak farm income.

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