A new survey of bankers suggests the economy is growing in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The survey released Thursday showed that the overall index for rural parts of the region improved to 55.9 in January from December's 50.2. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says hiring remains strong across the region. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.