While the analysts debate the state of America’s economy, one Midwest expert says there’s no question — the recession is already starting to reach our region. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the signs are becoming very clear.
"If the recession’s a 10K race, we’re at 5K right now. We’ve certainly met some of the conditions but in this part of the country, in the rural areas, when you’re talking about farm income being up as much as 50%, it’s hard to be in a recession but there certainly is an economic downturn," he says.
Goss says Creighton’s monthly survey of rural bankers across the Midwest shows an index of about 46 on a 100-point scale. He says that indicates an economy in decline and the lowest rating in the two-year history of the banker’s survey.
While one banker reported that the recession is "trickling down" to Main Street businesses, but Goss says the Midwest is doing much better than many other parts of the nation. He says the recession’s pressure on the rural economy will be less due to rising commodity prices and the big jumps in agricultural land values.