Monday, December 21, 2020

Creighton University's Rural Mainstreet Index: "Farmland Prices Show Strongest Growth Since 2013: Farm Equipment Sales Highest Since June 2013"

From Creighton's Heider College of Business, December 17:

December Survey Results at a Glance:

  • Overall index rose to its second highest reading in the past 10 months.
  • For the first time since June 2013, the farm equipment-sales index rose above growth neutral.
  • For the first time since 2013, the farmland price index rose above growth neutral for three straight months.
  • Bankers ranked water availability as the top 2021 farm economy issue; farm labor cost/availability was ranked as the second biggest issue or concern.
  • Among 10 farm concerns for 2021, farm income and farm liquidity were the two issues of least concern.
  • Growth in agriculture income pulled farmer borrowing down for a second straight month.

OMAHA, Neb. (Dec. 17, 2020) - For the second time in the past three months, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) climbed above growth neutral. According to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy, the index increased to its second highest level in the past 10 months.

Overall: The overall index for December rose to 51.6 from November’s 46.8, but was down from October’s 53.2. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.

“Recent improvements in agriculture commodity prices, federal farm support payments, and the Federal Reserve’s record low interest rates have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University's Heider College of Business.

Farming and ranching: For a third straight month, the farmland price index advanced above growth neutral. The December reading was unchanged from November’s solid 55.0. This is first time since 2013 that Creighton’s survey has recorded three straight months of rising farmland prices.

The December farm equipment-sales index increased to 50.2, its highest level since June 2013, and up from 42.9 in November. After 86 straight months of readings below growth neutral, farm equipment bounced into growth territory for the month.

Banking: Bankers once again reported anemic loan volumes. The December loan volume index expanded to 43.7 from November’s record low 25.8. The checking-deposit index dropped to 78.1 from November’s record high 87.1, while the index for certificates of deposit, and other savings instruments fell to 42.2 from 46.8 in November....