The report on October inflation, released Nov. 14, was noticeably different than last month’s. Overall, the consumer price index rose by 0.3 percent over September’s values. Recall that September’s numbers were up only 0.1 percent from August levels. While this month-over-month change would convert to an annual rate of over 3 percent, the actual year-over-year change from October 2017 levels is only 2.5 percent.
Projections for the third-lowest net farm income in the last decade, record nominal agricultural debt, rising debt-to-asset ratios and interest rates, and continued headwinds for agricultural commodity prices had many anticipating an increase in farm bankruptcies in 2018. However, that is not currently the case.
Caseload statistics from the United States Courts indicate that for the 2018 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, there were 468 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings, down 8 percent, or 40 filings, from the prior year. Filings in fiscal year 2018 were down from prior-year levels but were approximately 25 percent higher than in 2014.
American Farm Bureau Federation’s 33rd annual price survey of the classic Thanksgiving dinner – including turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and all the fixings -- revealed an average cost for a family of 10 was $48.90, less than $5 per person and down less than 1 percent from prior-year levels.