While the overall rural economy remained below growth neutral, a recent report from Creighton University reported a surge in farm equipment sales.
The Nebraska school's Rural Mainstreet Index for September saw farm equipment sales rise to 56.2 from 52.7 the month before. A number above 50 on the scale indicates growth in this area of the economy.
Creighton economist Ernie Goss, who helped develop the economic survey, said he saw this as a positive trend that may hold out for the remainder of this year.
"As the outlook for the farm sector has improved significantly, farmers have likewise expanded their purchases of capital equipment," Goss said.
While September has seen improvement, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers also reported recently August sales were up for a number of machine types. For example, self-propelled combined transactions rose 9.9 percent in the month when compared to the same month last year.
Although farm equipment sales posted gains in September, the overall Rural Mainstreet Index remained below growth neutral for the third consecutive month, rising from 46 to 47.6.