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Survey suggests weak economic growth likely ahead in rural parts of 10 Midwest, Plains states

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OMAHA, Nebraska — A new survey suggests that the economic outlook for 10 Midwest and Plains states is weaker than in previous months.

The Rural Mainstreet Index sank to growth neutral 50.0 in August from 53.4 in July. The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in that factor in the months ahead. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the weaker business conditions for agriculture and energy businesses accounted for the downtown.

The confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months out, slumped to 42.0 from 46.6 last month.

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