Higher Interest Rates, Strong Dollar Affecting Rural Economies

Dan Agri-Business, Economy, Exports/Imports, Field Crops, Forestry

interest rates

CoBank says the combination of high interest rates and a strong U.S. dollar is beginning to take a disproportionate toll on rural industries like agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing. Most international transactions are still conducted in dollars, and a strong dollar makes U.S. exports more expensive and imports cheaper.

CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange says that disproportionately hurts the backbone of the rural economy.

“The challenge for agriculture and other rural industries that rely heavily on global markets is their export partners simply can’t afford to buy U.S. products,” says Rob Fox, Knowledge Exchange Director.


America’s economic position relative to other countries has gotten much stronger than anticipated. The expectation that interest rates will remain high for the foreseeable future has also contributed to the stronger dollar.

“When you combine the export loss with a general slowdown in the U.S. economy, it’s a double whammy for many businesses in rural America,” says Fox.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)