Higher fuel prices may be applying brakes to the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states. A monthly survey index of rural bankers dropped to 57.1 in April from 59.8 in March. Organizers of the Rural Mainstreet Index survey say any score above 50 suggests the economy will grow. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says there are signs that the higher energy and fuel prices are slowing growth in agriculture-dependent areas. And he says slower global growth has harmed some rural areas that are dependent on agricultural sales. The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
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