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Recession catches rural America

Maria Akers and Jason Henderson

Economic Review, 2009, vol. 94, issue Q I, 65-87

Abstract: As the recession intensified in 2008, rural economies held firm. Through the first half of the year, strong commodity prices supported robust farm incomes and contributed to relatively stronger gains on Main Street. Moreover, the housing correction was less intense than in urban areas, and the financial crisis was less severe than on Wall Street. ; While these factors shielded the rural economy from the worst of the recession, rural America was not immune. The foundations of rural economic strength in 2008--high commodity prices, robust export activity, and rising ethanol demand--were crumbling. Consequently, the booming farm economy began to slow, and, following national trends, the nonfarm economy continued to falter. ; Henderson and Akers review the state of the rural economy and explore how the recession could affect the rural economy in 2009. They suggest that a rural rebound will rest on whether the fiscal and monetary stimulus packages spark demand for rural goods and services.

Date: 2009
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