A survey of rural bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states suggests slow economic growth is ahead.
A report released Thursday on the Rural Mainstreet Index says the overall index rose to 58.2 in February, compared with 55.6 in January.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the report, and he says it is the index's fifth increase in the past six months. He says he expects economic growth for the region "will continue on a slow but positive pace."
The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. Any score below 50 on the index suggests contraction in the months ahead.
The index is based on a survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.