A monthly survey of bankers finds the economy at its highest point in at least a year in the “non-urban” areas of Iowa and rural areas in eight other Midwestern states.
Dave Kingland, President and CEO of Manufacturers Bank and Trust in Forest City, says the “Mainstreet Economic Index” is reflecting the strength of commodity prices. In Iowa, he says one of the biggest pluses is the strength of the ag economy — crops were good this year, corn prices are good, so spendable income’s going to be up for farmers.
The banker says ethanol’s spurring a lot of demand for corn and boosting corn prices, but there’s also a thriving livestock industry which is keeping demand strong as well.
He foresees the economy of rural Iowa staying steady into the start of next year. There are always things, he says, that look cloudy “as you look at the crystal ball,” including what will happen with interest rates, land prices and retail business — but he thinks it will still be steady into 2007.
The monthly Mainstreet study surveys bankers from Coloradop, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota as well as Iowa.
Related web sites:
Mainstreet Economic Index