2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
Sep 15, 2:34 PM EDT

Weak farm income hurts economy in rural parts of 10 states


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Bankers say weak farm income continues to weigh down the economy in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states.

The overall rural economic index for the region remained in negative territory and declined to 37.3 in September from August's 41.1.

Survey officials say any score below 50 on any of the survey's indexes suggests a decline in that area.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says farm income is expected to decline 12 percent over last year. That is limiting spending by farmers and hurting the economy in rural areas.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Goss says the number of farm loan defaults hasn't increased significantly over the past year, but more loans are being restructured.

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