Adapting to a Slowing Economy

By Brian Earnest , Tanner Ehmke , Rob Fox , Jeff Johnston , Dan Kowalski , Christina Pope and Teri Viswanath

April 6, 2023

The U.S. and rural economies remain strong but a slowdown is beginning to unfold. Inflation is falling, U.S. consumers continue to spend, and the labor market is still strong. And despite a commercial banking scare, the Federal Reserve is holding to its monetary tightening course. However, signs of a wavering economy are spreading, albeit slowly.

This transition from a red hot economy to one that is more tepid can be felt across rural sectors. Natural gas prices have plummeted, impacting the fertilizer, biofuel, and power sectors. Recent surges in protein and dairy prices are now meeting a more price-sensitive consumer. And the race to build out fiber broadband is slowing to a crawl.

The effects of higher-for-longer interest rates will become more pervasive, and the economic deceleration more pronounced as the year progresses.

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In this issue

  • Spotlight
  • Macro Economic Outlook
  • Grains
  • Farm Supply
  • Biofuels
  • Animal Protein
  • Dairy
  • Cotton, Rice and Sugar
  • Specialty Crops
  • Power, Energy and Water
  • Communications

Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is not intended to be investment, tax, or legal advice and should not be relied upon by recipients for such purposes. The information contained in this report has been compiled from what CoBank regards as reliable sources. However, CoBank does not make any representation or warranty regarding the content, and disclaims any responsibility for the information, materials, third-party opinions, and data included in this report. In no event will CoBank be liable for any decision made or actions taken by any person or persons relying on the information contained in this report.


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