Survey: Higher fuel prices slowing rural growth

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 8:21 a.m. CDT; updated 9:45 a.m. CDT, Friday, April 20, 2012

OMAHA, Neb. — Higher fuel prices might be applying brakes to the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states — including Missouri.

A monthly survey index of rural bankers dropped from 59.8 in March to 57.1 in April. Organizers of the Rural Mainstreet Index survey said any score above 50 suggests the economy will grow.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said there are signs the higher energy and fuel prices are slowing growth in agriculture-dependent areas. He said slower global growth has harmed some rural areas that are dependent on agricultural sales.

The survey also covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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