The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer Index rose again in January, to a reading of 130, four points above its 2022 year-end index value.
The January survey results also pushed the index 34 percent 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 five points to 127 while the Index of Current Conditions, with a value of 136, changed little compared to December.
The Financial Performance Index dropped to 93 this month, down from 109 in December, but that primarily reflects producers’ being asked to look ahead to 2023 and compare it to 2022 rather than comparing 2022 to 2021. Of the 400 respondents, 22 percent expect to have a larger farm operating loan than in 2022, which was down somewhat from last January when 27 percent of respondents expected to have a larger operating loan.