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Officials Say South Dakota Rural Economy Slowing

Economists say South Dakota’s rural economy is slowing down. A survey by Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska indicates the Rural Main Street Index fell for the fourth straight month to its lowest level in years.

Creighton Economics Professor Dr. Ernie Goss says an increase in supplies, a decrease in demand for ag-related products, and better weather conditions are contributing to the decline.

“September’s survey of bank CEO’s in rural areas of ten states including South Dakota – the overall economy, especially those that are more highly dependent on crop production, we’re seeing some significant slowdowns there and that would be in farm land prices coming down, ag equipment sales down to its lowest level since we began this survey in 2006. So we are seeing some real negative impacts from the very significant decline in agricultural commodity prices over the last year,” says Goss.

Goss says this year’s numbers are down close to 30-percent from last year’s, but he says South Dakota’s overall economic forecast looks favorable – especially businesses tied to the livestock, pork, and energy industries. Goss says the decline in the Rural Main Street Index in South Dakota is a reflection of what’s happening globally.