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Report on March survey of Midwest, Plains bankers says rural economy sees barely-there growth

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OMAHA, Nebraska — An economist says a survey of bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states suggests the regional economy is experiencing slow to no growth.

The Rural Mainstreet Index rose slightly above growth neutral in March, to 50.1, compared with 48.4 in February.

The survey indexes range from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the region will need to see more increases in farm commodity prices to push the agriculture-based economy back into healthy growth territory.

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

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