This month’s Rural Mainstreet Index from Creighton University revealed the fifth consecutive index report below growth neutral. Pessimism persists in rural bankers. Ernie Goss, PhD of Creighton University, says weaker commodity prices, stubbornly high input costs and higher interest rates continue to weigh on minds.

However, attitudes toward the economy at large could be on the rise. While January’s index of 48.1 is below growth neutral, it was higher than December’s reading of 41.7. A score of 50 represents growth neutral.

Read more on the latest Rural Mainstreet Index here.