Since falling to a record low in April of this year, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index – or RMI – has increased for six straight months.

According to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy, the index rose to its highest level since January, prior to the onset of COVID-19.

The overall index for October climbed above growth neutral 50.0 to 53.2 from September’s 46.9.

For only the third time in the past 82 months, the farmland price index advanced above growth neutral for October.

The October reading jumped to 50.6 from September’s 45.0.

The confidence index, which reflects bank CEO expectations for the economy six months out, improved to 51.6 from September’s 50.0.

The Kansas RMI for October increased to 57.5 from September’s 50.9.

The state’s farmland-price index advanced to 53.2 from 45.0 in September.

The new-hiring index for Kansas fell to 57.5 from 72.4 in September.