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Survey: Midwestern economy slowing due to declining farm prices

OMAHA, NE (WTAQ) - While Governor Walker touts a strong recovery, some of Wisconsin's neighbors might not feel the same thing.  

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says declining farm prices are hurting the Midwest economy in general -- and the region's growth will appear to slow down in the coming months.  

Goss released a survey of rural bankers Thursday which puts the overall economic index in the Midwest at 50.8 -- down from 56.1 in December. Anything above 50 suggests growth.  

The Creighton survey covers all or parts of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Wyoming. Wisconsin is not included.  

Goss said most bankers expect the economy to be hurt by the federal EPA's proposal to reduce the required ethanol content in gasoline.

Most Midwest governors have asked the EPA to scrap the proposed reduction -- but Wisconsin's Walker is taking a neutral stance. He says Wisconsin has competing concerns -- including small engine makers who believe too much ethanol in gasoline can hurt things like lawnmower engines.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)