Nebraska and Midwest Economy Improve Despite Hardships

by Will Bauer, NET News

June 20, 2019, 4:35 p.m.

Economic conditions in the Midwest and Nebraska improved from May to June, despite the region facing some hardships, according to one Nebraska economist.

June’s Rural Mainstreet Index, which covers 10 Midwest states grew to 53.2 on the 100-point scale, indicating a growing economy. Nebraska’s June figure is 50.6, or neutral growth.

Ernie Goss, Creighton economics professor and index creator, said ongoing trade negotiations continue to affect Nebraska’s economy, which Goss said is behind the other states.

“Now there has been at least some relief from the floods and some rebuilding going on and some positive numbers," Goss said. "And that’s of course particularly true in the eastern portion of Nebraska and likewise in Iowa; the western portion of Iowa.”

Goss said flood rebuilding has helped Nebraska’s economy. Despite feeling the hardships of the trade negotiations, the index shows that almost seven in 10 bankers support raised tariffs. Goss also said the index shows loan defaults aren’t as high as expected.