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Agriculture in tough position without trade deals, says economist

The economy in the Midwest is continuing to be somewhat divided, with non-agricultural growth continuing to help keep things rolling, but the ag sector dragging, according to Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.

“The Federal Reserve this week announced that they see the negatives coming out and they said no rate hikes for the rest of 2019 and only one for 2020,” said Goss. “The Federal Reserve is seeing what we’ve been seeing for some time, that is a weak economy.”

More rate hikes definitely would not have helped, particularly when agricultural commodity prices continue to be low.

“Eighty-three percent of the bankers said they were restructuring loans to the agricultural sector,” said Goss. “That’s just because of the stress agriculture is seeing.”

Policy choices being made by the Trump administration on trade need to result in deals soon.

“We need to see a trade deal, particularly with China,” said Goss. “That’s, of course, very important for the pork industry and also for our soybeans, particularly those two agricultural products.”

Goss said the administration is driving a harder line than he, as an economist, would like to see with the Chinese and other nations.


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