The Year Ahead - Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy
January 10, 2024
The U.S. economy continues to outperform expectations despite a string of adversity – the pandemic, rampant inflation, and the Federal Reserve’s extreme monetary tightening policies. The strength of the job market plus big infrastructure investments should spur ongoing economic growth in rural America. However, potential pitfalls are on the horizon: Congress continues to delay progress on the Farm Bill and trade policy while consumers are irrationally pessimistic about the future.
The Quarterly - Inflation is Beginning to Loosen its Grip
February 17, 2023
The war in Ukraine and inflation will remain the two biggest factors for commodity markets in the first half of 2023. There are now consistent signals that inflation is softening, which should enable the Federal Reserve to comfortably relent on interest rate hikes before mid-year. However, the opening of the Chinese economy could complicate the inflation picture as increased demand for oil and gas in China threatens to upset the delicate global energy supply and demand balance.
Effects from the pandemic and Ukraine war continue to reverberate through the global economy. Food and energy prices remain high, though prices for underlying commodities have lost upward momentum as economic fears rise. The Federal Reserve is poised to raise rates until it believes inflation has been tamed. Unfortunately, the risk of over- or under-doing it is high given that the lag time between action and reaction in monetary policy can be long.