Ag Economist: U.S. Economy In A Period Of Recovery

After what’s been called the worst recession since the 1980s, Purdue University agricultural economist Larry DeBoer says the economy is now in a period of recovery.

"When Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, or any economist says the recession is over, we mean the economy is not declining any more," DeBoer says. "Think of it in terms of digging yourself into a hole. When you stop digging deeper it’s a significant change."

Another significant change is to climb back out of the hole. DeBoer says the economy likely will stay in the hole for a little while, however.

"The recovery is going to take quite some time to bring us back to where we really want to be," DeBoer says. "We should probably expect a slow decline in the unemployment rate and probably slow growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP)."

GDP is a basic measure of the country’s overall economic output.

DeBoer said consumer spending in the U.S. is being held back by the 10 percent unemployment rate. The economy grew 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. Economists question whether that growth rate can be sustained.

"Even at 5.9 percent, the unemployment rate would only come down from about 10 percent to about 8.5 percent by the end of the year," DeBoer says. "This tells me we have at best three or four years before we get unemployment back down to 5 percent — where it was at the beginning of the recession."

An increase in consumer spending would help decrease the unemployment rate, but with unemployment being what it is, consumers are not spending, DeBoer says.

DeBoer says the Federal stimulus package has played a role in keeping the unemployment rate lower than what it could have been.

"The whole idea behind stimulus is to step in temporarily, fill in the hole and add to the spending. There’s no doubt that the spending from the stimulus package has kept the unemployment rate from going up more than it would have," he says. "Without the stimulus, the unemployment rate might have been 11 or 12 percent instead of 10 percent."

Because the value of the U.S. dollar is low, foreign countries are buying more American products. Added exports should help bring down the unemployment rate.

DeBoer says markets in Asia are recovering more quickly than the markets in the U.S., and that is partly because China has experienced exceptional economic growth.

"A recession in China means instead of growing 8 percent or 10 percent, the economy grows 6 percent or 8 percent," he says. "It really is unprecedented in the history of the world. Never have 1.3 billion people seen their economy grow as fast as they’ve grown over recent decades."

DeBoer said the recovery does have implications for American agriculture, which would likely be most affected by interest rates, farmland assessments, and oil prices.

With a 10 percent unemployment rate and little threat of inflation, DeBoer said it’s unlikely the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates soon. But farmland assessments are likely to increase in the near future, because the formula to assess farmland value takes into account commodity prices with a four-year lag.

"Farmland assessments are going to go up over the next several years because the high commodity prices from 2007-08 will enter the assessment formula," DeBoer says. "Senate Bill 396 is still alive in the legislature, and it would take the edge off some of those increases, but not stop them. I think farmers can count on property tax increases over the next several years."

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific Findings On Glyphosate
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safety Amid Troubling Report
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
HerbicidesNew EPA Glyphosate Restrictions Leaked To Reuters
April 1, 2015
U.S. regulators will put new restrictions on the world’s most widely used herbicide to help address the rapid expansion of Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Seed/BiotechFMC’s 3RIVE 3D Turns Heads
April 1, 2015
As winter trade shows tend to go, Commodity Classic tends to be a pretty big deal. You’ve got all the Read More
Nachurs Alpine Solutions, Liquid fertilizer, micronutrients, facility
MicronutrientsYara Launching YaraVita Procote Liquid Micronutrients
March 31, 2015
Yara North America, Inc. broadens its fertilizer coating offerings with the introduction of YaraVita Procote, oil-based micronutrient liquid suspensions that Read More
Industry NewsINCOTEC Board Member To Retire
March 31, 2015
JanWillem Breukink has decided to retire from his position on INCOTEC’s Board of Directors, effective April 1, 2015. This was Read More
MicronutrientsAgrium Deals Michigan Micronutrient Facility To Cameron…
March 31, 2015
Cameron Chemicals, Inc. has announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Agrium Inc. to purchase the Read More
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Creates, Fills New Pacific Northwest Sales P…
March 30, 2015
H.J. Baker announced today that Gary Bingham has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division to further deepen its sales portfolio Read More
Algal blooms
StewardshipStudy: Algae From Clogged Waterways Could Be Used As Bi…
March 30, 2015
Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists are reporting Read More
Young corn plants
Stewardship4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit Coming To DC
March 30, 2015
The annual 4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit will be held on May 12 in Washington DC. The summit will include a full Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More