OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The index of a newly released monthly survey of bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states has hit a new record high, just two months after hitting its previous record high. The overall index of the Rural Mainstreet Survey for May reached 78.8 — nearly 7 points higher than the previous record of 71.9 set in March and 10 points above April’s 69.0. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss credits gains in grain prices, record-low interest rates and growing exports, but said labor shortages are hold the rural economy back. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
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