Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Nation & World

Economic index jumps for Midwest, Western states

Survey projects future growth

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – An index of economic conditions in 10 Midwest and Western states jumped this month after 3 months of drought-induced doldrums.

According to a report released Thursday, the overall Rural Mainstreet index rose to 56.6 for October from 48.3 in September. It was the first time since June that the index rose above growth neutral 50.

Survey organizers have said that any score above 50 on the 100-point scale suggests the economy will grow in the months ahead.

“Our survey indicates that the negative impacts of the drought are being more than offset by the positives of very strong incomes from high agriculture and energy prices,” said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss. He oversees the survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The confidence index, as measured by the bankers’ responses, rose to 50.7 from 43 in September. The index reflects expectations for the economy 6 months out.

“As the Rural Mainstreet economy turned upward for the month, so did [the] bankers’ outlook,” said Goss. “The turnaround in the housing market is an important factor boosting economic confidence,” he said.

One in four bankers said they thought a recession was likely or very likely in 2013, but almost a third of those who responded said they thought a recession was unlikely or very unlikely.

Casey Regan, CEO of Premier Bank in Farmington, Minn., said economic forecasting for next year, “especially business owner sentiment, will depend greatly on the results of what happens on the first Tuesday of November.”

Loading more