Financial squall ahead? Economic forum is Jan. 24

Media Contact

Melissa Osgood

Batten down your dividends and buckle up your economic seat belts. Welcome to 2017.

Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management will host the annual Agricultural and Food Business Outlook Conference, Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 8:30 a.m. in B25 Warren Hall.

The meeting features a national economic forecast by Steve Kyle, associate professor of economics, and national and regional forecasts for agricultural and business sectors. Register online.

“For the national outlook, there is far more uncertainty this year than ever in the past,” said Kyle. “The Democrats in Congress will have little or no say in what happens, but Trump and the Republicans in Congress are not all on the same page either.”

Kyle said that spending – particularly for the military – will likely jump. “Increased spending in an environment where interest rates have already started creeping back up and where unemployment is well below 5 percent, means that there will be little doubt that interest rates will increase,” he said. “This, in turn, will mean a continued strong dollar, which will keep commodity prices down and export markets soft for U.S. producers.”

Kyle continued, “All of this could be overtaken by events, since President-elect Donald Trump is such a wild card we really can’t predict what will happen. If the Congress and the White House repeal the Affordable Care Act – and start a trade war – then we would have a negative fiscal shock instead of a positive one.”

Jennifer Ifft, assistant professor of agricultural economics, will focus on “Economics of the New York Agriculture and Food Sector,” followed by a panel on “Implications of the New Government for Agriculture and Agricultural Policy,” with Robert Gray, managing partner at Gray and Oscar; John Newton, director of market intelligence for the American Farm Bureau; and Elizabeth Wolters, assistant director for the New York Farm Bureau.

The afternoon dairy session features University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist Mark Stephenson, who will provide a sector forecast, and a discussion of factors driving dairy markets and policy by Andrew Novakovic, the E.V. Baker Professor of Agricultural Economics.

Miguel Gomez, associate professor of economics, will explain the grape, wine and ornamental outlooks, and graduate assistant Rachel Saputo, MPS ’16, will give the fruit and vegetable outlook. Also, Julie Stafford, industry liaison officer in food science, will speak on “Establishing New York as a Leader in Local Year-Round Vegetable Production.”


Story Contacts

Blaine Friedlander