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Associated Press, Published October 22 2010

Midwest survey suggests growing economic optimism

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Despite mixed financial signals, rural bankers who responded to a survey in 10 Midwest and Plains states apparently are growing optimistic about the regional economy.

The Rural Mainstreet economic report for October says its economic confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months out, rose to 57.3 from 54.9 in September and 46.0 in August.

Survey organizers say that any score below 50 suggests the economy will contract over the next six months.

The overall Rural Mainstreet index remains in negative territory but rose to 48.4 from September's 47.6.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are surveyed for the report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.