World of Honda-Yamaha closes shop next month

Monday, August 20, 2012

* World of Honda-Yamaha in Cape Girardeau will close next month, said owner Robert Ford.

He and is wife, Marty, have owned the business since February 1979, and have decided to retire.

The building, 1728 N. Kingshighway, has been sold, Robert Ford said, but he declined to say who has bought the property because the sale has not closed officially yet. In the meantime, the business' existing inventory is being liquidated.

* Drought conditions continue to weigh on the rural communities with the monthly index an indicator of rural economies reaching its lowest level since April 2009. The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI), compiled by Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral. In July, it declined for the third straight month to 47.1, from 47.9. Almost one third, or 31 percent, of bankers reported that the drought was negatively affecting business activity in their area for August.

According to surveys for the past several months, farmland price growth has weakened significantly. However, there is a great deal of variance across the region with areas that are irrigated or not hit by the drought continuing to report solid growth.

The August farmland price index growth weakened with an August reading of 52.8, down from July's 58.6, reaching its lowest level since July 2009. Midwest bank CEOs were asked about the impact of the drought on farm borrowing as part of the monthly survey.

Forty-one percent reported that the drought has encouraged greater agriculture borrowing. This is up significantly from July when only 29 percent of bankers reported an increase in borrowing as a result of the drought.

Additionally for August, 46 percent of bankers reported that livestock producers in their area were reducing the size of their herds as a result of the drought. Last month only 13 percent of bankers reported that livestock producers were reducing the size of their herds due to recent severe drought conditions.

* Missouri exports were up 6 percent through the first two quarters of 2012 as compared to the first two quarters of 2011, a year in which Missouri set a state record for export sales revenue.

Export revenues for the first six months of 2012 have already reached $7.5 billion, according to Gov. Jay Nixon's office. At the current rate of growth, the state is projected to reach nearly $15 billion in annual export sales revenue, surpassing 2011's record total of $14.1 billion. Canada, Mexico and China remain Missouri's largest export markets. Top exported Missouri commodities include vehicles, industrial equipment and electric machinery.

Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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