A new survey of bankers indicates a waning economy in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, and weak farm income is hurting producers' ability to borrow money from banks.

The Rural Mainstreet survey shows its overall index fell to to 50.2 this month from 54.2 in November.

Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey and says federal agriculture crop support payments and somewhat higher grain prices kept the overall index from falling into negative territory.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

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