(NAFB) — The December Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer suggests farmers are optimistic about the future, despite a weakened perception of current conditions. The survey dropped three points in December to a reading of 150, down from 153 in November. The Index of Current Conditions dropped 12 points to 141, down from 153 in November. Meanwhile, the Index of Future Expectations remained strong, up two points to a reading of 155.
In the December survey, producers were asked whether their farm’s 2019 financial performance was better, as expected, or worse than their initial budget projections. Just over-half, 52 percent, stated that their initial projections matched their farm’s financial performance. Meanwhile, 30 percent stated it was worse, and 19 percent stated it was better than expected.
The barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 U.S. crop and livestock producers. A reading over 100 suggests optimism, while a reading under 100 indicates pessimism among farmers regarding the ag economy.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters
Farmers optimistic about the future, even as their perception of current economic conditions drops
Purdue agricultural economist James Mintert reviews the results from the December 2019 Ag Economy Barometer survey, a nationwide monthly survey of 400 ag producers. The full report entitled “Farmers optimistic about the future even, as their perception of current economic conditions drops” is available here.
The Ag Economy Barometer drifted sideways in December, to a reading of 150 compared to 153 in November. Although the barometer changed little in December, there was a shift in producers’ perspective regarding both their farms’ and the production ag sector’s economic health. Producers expressed less confidence than a month earlier about current economic conditions as the Index of Current Conditions registered a reading of 141, a decline of 12 points compared to November’s index value of 153. In contrast, producers’ expectations for the future remained strong as the Index of Future Expectations rose slightly, to a reading of 155 compared to 153 a month earlier. This month’s Ag Economy Barometer survey was conducted from December 9-13, 2019 and is based on responses from a nationwide survey of 400 agricultural producers.
A slim majority (52 percent) of farmers on the December barometer survey indicated that their farm’s financial performance in 2019 matched their initial budget projections. On the same survey 3 out of 10 producers said their farm’s financial performance was worse than expected at the outset of the year, which was partially offset by nearly 2 out of 10 (19 percent) respondents indicating performance was better than expected. The varied responses to this question are indicative of the variability in economic conditions among U.S. farm operations as 2019 came to a close. Read the full report.
Source: Purdue/CME Group