The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer Index rose again in January, to a reading of 130, 4 points above its 2022 year-end index value. The January survey results also pushed the index 34% above its 2022 low point which occurred last June. The barometer’s modest rise in January was primarily attributable to better expectations for the future as the Future Expectations Index rose 5 points to 127 while the Index of Current Conditions, with a value of 136, changed little compared to December.
The Farm Capital Investment index rose to a reading of 42 vs. 40 in December, its second month in a row of growth. The index hasn't risen 2 months in a row since fall of 2020.
Some 70% of surveyed growers consider now a bad time to make large investments in their farm operation. Among them, 39% consider the primary reason to be the rising costs of farm machinery and new construction, the lowest percentage since July 2022. Another 25% said rising interest rates was their primary reason for not investing.
Some 51% of growers said their farm machinery purchase plans for 2023 were lower compared to 1 year ago, and 8% said they were higher.
Around 30% of farmers said they believe their farm operation will be worse off financially 1 year from now and around 17% said they thought their operation would be better off.
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