Producers’ perceptions of improved current conditions in the agricultural economy pushed the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer to a record high. The index rose to 168 in February, an increase of one point from January, and was 18 points higher than in December. This month’s increase came about largely because of the improvement in the Index of Current Conditions, which jumped 12 points higher in February to 154.
The Index of Future Expectations dropped four points from January to finish at 175 in February. Producers who responded to the survey said they are more optimistic about current conditions on their farms and in U.S. agriculture.
They retained most of the improvement in their future expectations we saw during January.
The optimism is because of events like the signing of the USMCA, that Phase One trade deal with China and bilateral deal with Japan. More than three-fourths of the respondents said signing those two agreements either “somewhat” or “completely” relieved their concerns about the effects of tariffs on their income. Just 17% of the respondents said, “not at all.”
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