South Canterbury's rural economy is better placed than large urban centres to ride out the recession, South Canterbury Finance chief executive Lachie McLeod says in the Timaru Herald. Speaking at the South Canterbury Federated Farmers Annual Conference, Mr McLeod told farmers there were a number of factors that pointed towards a sound rural economic outlook. There was high demand for primary products from Asia and developing countries. "Developing countries is where the demand is going to be. To us Asia is very, very important," Mr McLeod said. The exchange rate should also stay between US55c-60c, which would help returns for beef and lamb. He said farmers had historically battled through tough times and he backed them to ride out the recession. "Farmers are resilient, they have been through the 1980s, and they don't do runners. When you go to Auckland, there are a few people up there that do runners." Reflecting confidence in the rural sector, 70% of SC Finance's lending is in the provinces and 70% is in the South Island. "That's key for us. We certainly don't see any issues at present. Whether it hasn't hit yet, we don't know." "In a nutshell, we think the rural outlook still looks pretty good."