A survey of economic conditions in Missouri’s rural areas shows things looking better on the farm but not so good in small towns. The Rural Mainstreet Index is compiled each month using information from small-town bank presidents and CEOs in communities with average populations of 1,300.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the numbers are up for farmers, compared to a year ago. But he says rural mainstreet businesses have lost 2.4 percent of their jobs in the last year.
Goss says his financial experts say some national policies are having an impact on job cutbacks at small town businesses. “We have to attribute some of it to just some uncertainty surrounding what’s going on from the federal government,” he says.
The survey says the farmland price index in Missouri has improved since August. So has the farm equipment sales index. But there are about two-and-a-half percent fewer jobs in small town Missouri than there were a year ago.