The Rural Mainstreet Index has been steadily climbing over the last four months, signaling improving conditions in farm country. However, the man behind the RMI, Ernie Goss from Creighton University, says he has his eyes on two issues; trade and interest rates.
A Farm Journal report says Goss credits exports as one of the biggest reasons for improving economic conditions, in spite of trade “saber rattling.” Because of the rattling sabers, Goss says he’s very concerned about the future of trade going forward. Goss says, “What about trade with China? What about trade with Japan?” He tells Chip Flory of Agri-Talk that he’s very concerned about trade with Asia as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement. “NAFTA is very important to us,” he says, “but now we have a NAFTA deal that may not even be sealed until the next session of Congress.”
The other red flag he’s keeping an eye on is interest rates. The Federal Reserve recently indicated that an interest rate hike could possibly happen during the June meeting.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.