For the second-straight month, the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dipped lower, coming in with an index of 126 in December. That number was the lowest since March of last year and the second-lowest of 2017. The decline is driven entirely by producers becoming less optimistic about the future. The Future Expectations Index was recently at 137 in October, but fell to 127 in November and dipped to 120 in December. That’s the lowest reading for future expectations since October of 2016. The Index of Current Conditions stands in sharp contrast to the future expectations.
The Index of Current Conditions measures the short-term expectations of farmers, which increased in December to 139, the highest number since July of 2017 and the second-highest number since the survey began collecting data in October of 2015. Optimism has especially dipped in future financial expectations. The share of farmers expecting better financial conditions for their farms in the next year fell 20 percent from the previous survey, while the share of farmers expecting worse financial conditions over the coming year rose 30 percent.
Source: NAFB News Service