Omaha The economy remains strong in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states because of the health of agricultural businesses there.
The overall economic index on the new monthly Rural Mainstreet survey rose to 58.5 in May from April's already healthy 57.1. Any score above 50 on the index suggests growth in the months ahead.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says even though the May numbers are positive, he believes the region's economic growth will slow in the months ahead as the global economy weakens and crop prices decline.
The survey covers rural areas of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The survey focuses on 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300.