OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The rural economy is sputtering in 10 Midwest and Great Plains states as farmers try to cope with this summer's severe drought, according to the newest monthly survey of bankers released Thursday.

The Rural Mainstreet Index slipped to 47.1 this month, its lowest level since April 2009 and the second straight month of negative growth. Any score below 50 on the 1-to-100 index suggests that the economy will contract in months ahead.

The index fell from 47.9 in July and 56.7 in June.

Nearly one-third of the bankers reported that the drought had hurt businesses in their areas in August. The results were compiled from rural areas of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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