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The COVID-19 pandemic sent economic shockwaves through the U.S. economy, tripling the monthly unemployment to nearly 15% and leading to a more than 30% quarterly decline in GDP — by far the largest economic contraction in U.S. history. No corner of the country was untouched by the pandemic’s economic consequences — but some states have […]

In 2018, ninety-one Fortune 500 companies paid zero dollars in federal income taxes. ZERO! Another 56 paid an effective rate between zero and …

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The April reading of the Ag Economy Barometer was 178, virtually unchanged from a month earlier when the index stood at 177. It’s just 5 points less than its all-time best of 183, which was set back in October.

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In 2020 we wrote about key factors and macroeconomic issues to monitor as the pandemic spread and the economic slowdown began. A year later we’re following up to write about the key considerations for the economy in 2021 – and the hopes of a recovery.

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The Ag Economy Barometer increased in March to 177, the best reading for the barometer since the record reading of 184 in October. This month’s 12-point increase in the barometer was attributable almost entirely to agricultural producers’ more-optimistic view of the future; the Index of Future Expectations climbed to 164 – 16 points more than February’s index. Although the Index of Current Conditions, at 202, changed little from a month earlier when it stood at 200, it did mark a return to the index’s record number first reached in December. Strong ag-commodity prices and improved farm financial conditions continue to support the Ag Economy Barometer readings as we head into spring.