ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Economic turnaround sooner than later?

with one comment

I’ve been looking over 3 separate pieces that have given me  some cautious optimism for our economic future.

First, CNNMoney ran a piece today about the currency of choice in international markets: the dollar.  While the author doesn’t sugarcoat our current economic conditions, he doesn’t mince words with where to future could go:

The dollar is up about 9% against the euro and 7% versus the Japanese yen so far in 2009. It’s also edged slightly higher against the British pound. What gives?

Well, as strange as it may sound, investors may be betting that the U.S., which arguably led the rest of the world into the global recession, will also be the first to emerge from the downturn.

“There a belief that the U.S. is doing more than any other nation to correct their problems. That stems from the different investments by the Fed and the Treasury in the financial sector,”

Positive trends in an overwhelmingly negative national tone, for sure.  Well, the dollar isn’t the *only* positive trend in our current recession either – agriculture is doing much better than the rest of the economy.  The Lincoln Journal Star reports:

the latest projections show agriculture closed out 2008 with the lowest debt to asset ratio in almost 50 years of federal record-keeping.

Proportionately,  Chapter 12 bankruptcies, aimed at agriculture, should be in the hundreds. But the real number for Chapter 12 bankruptcies in Nebraska last year was 16.

As I, along with many of our readers, have said small town Nebraska is clearly a refuge right now against the economic collapse on the coasts.  If you recall, we also saw record rises in total market valuation of commodities in the past 5 years.  Strong investment in the dollar plus a healthy farm economy equals strong local economics in Nebraska, right?  Well, we now have more local details that lend to this idea.

Our final bit of good news that wraps this all together – we just received our new sales tax numbers for December (remember the state is 2 mos. behind on reporting).  Our expectation was that a recession and bankrupt ethanol plant would lead to moderate to strong decline in local sales tax revenues.  November was behind just a bit from the prior year (we collected $300 less for economic development), which we felt was a win for us.

The reality for December?  Sales tax receipts were up from 2007 to 2008 – $37,285.62 was received for economic development, $245 more than December of 2007, with total receipts at $55,928.43 for the month.  Our local retail numbers were better this year than last.

Good news indeed!

Written by Caleb

March 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm

One Response

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  1. […] we’ve commented on in the past, here, here and here and Nebraska and Valley County have been well positioned to weather the storm quite […]

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