OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states suggests the regional economy is growing.

The overall index of the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet survey for December climbed back above growth neutral to hit 54.2, compared with 49.9 in November .

Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy in the months ahead, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the surveys over the past several months indicate the regional economy is expanding outside of agriculture.

The survey's confidence index slumped to 44.3 from November's 47.0, and Goss says tariffs, trade tensions and weak agriculture commodity prices harmed the economic outlook of bank CEOs.

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

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