Economist Ernie Goss

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Weak economic growth is expected to continue in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, but all the recent trade disputes may shrink profits.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the new tariffs are hurting grain prices, which were already weak.

The overall economic index for the region declined to 53.8 in July from June’s 56.1.

That score still suggests growth because it is above 50, while any score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

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

The bankers say they’re concerned about the ongoing trade tensions with China and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The confidence index fell to 42.7 in July from June’s 48.8.

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