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2018 Second Quarter

2018 Second Quarter

Executive Summary

The results of this quarter's survey reflect agricultural finance conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District during the second quarter of 2018. For the eighteenth consecutive quarter bankers who responded to the survey on net reported a decline in farm income when compared with the same period a year ago. Similar to the previous survey, the results of this survey reflect some expectations of improving levels for farm income for the next quarter. While a majority of bankers still expect income to decline next quarter when compared with the third quarter of last year, slightly fewer bankers report that assessment. Bankers reported a similar assessment and outlook for capital spending. Responses about household spending also indicate a decline in that category when compared with responses a year ago. Bankers have reported lower comparative income levels since the fourth quarter of 2013, reaching a low point in the second quarter of 2016. This period correlates with an extended period of depressed prices for commodities. Survey responses indicate that the value of quality farm land fell during the second quarter of 2018 compared with a year ago but that cash rents for that property slightly improved. In contrast, the value for ranchland or pastureland rose during the second quarter while cash rents for that property fell. Responses to bank-related activities indicated that loan demand and available funds increased during the second quarter of 2018 as compared with a year ago. The rate of loan repayment slowed during the second quarter of 2018 on a comparative basis as reported by a majority of bankers. Both fixed and variable interest rates on all categories of loans rose during the quarter, relative to the previous quarter. This quarter's survey asked two special questions. Results of the first question indicate that a significant majority of respondents feel that the University of Missouri's projections that farm income will fall in 2018 by about 6.5 percent is about right. The second question asked about the impact lenders expected the new tax law will have on borrowers: Over 71 percent felt it would be either somewhat positive or significantly positive, while only 29 percent felt there would be either no effect or a somewhat negative effect.  

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