Lower commodity prices in August pushed farm economy optimism lower, according to the Purdue-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer released this week. The barometer drifted lower in August to 132 points, down seven points from July, but still stronger than the year ago level of 96.
A reading over 100 indicates optimism regarding the farm economy, while a reading below indicates pessimism. Since peaking in January at a reading of 153, monthly barometer readings have ranged from a low of 124 in March to 139 in July. The current conditions index within the barometer drove the monthly decline, which dropped 22 points to 122 as commodity prices dropped lower in August.
However, recent declines in commodity prices did not noticeably dampen farmer expectations regarding future economic conditions. Still, approximately six out of 10 respondents indicated that grain-marketing opportunities over the last six months were likely better than the opportunities that will be available in the next six months.