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Unemployment and Food Costs

Today’s report that the jobless rate fell in the U.S. was good news that the economy is reviving. Food demand is relatively inelastic, though there can be some changes in quality. If there are impacts, they should be inverse, meaning less money to pay for food should cause food prices to drop. The price of corn going to feed livestock in order to yield more expensive meat shows a greater correlation to unemployment than does wheat going to more direct food use.  The announcement of an increase in employment should be bullish for meat and livestock products, as well as other higher priced goods. However, policymakers have flooded the economy with so much extra currency that the impacts may be too subtle to be noticed.  Still...

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From WPI Consulting

Forecasting developments in production agriculture

On behalf of a private U.S. agricultural technology provider, WPI’s team generated an econometric model to forecast the movement of concentrated corn production north and west from the traditional U.S. Corn Belt. WPI’s model has subsequently provided quantitative support to a multi-million-dollar investment into short-season corn variety development. WPI’s methodology included a series of interviews with regional grain elevators and seed consultants. Emphasizing outreach and communication with stakeholders who possess intimate sectoral knowledge – on-the-ground insights – is a regular component of WPI’s methodologies, made possible by WPI’s ever-growing network of industry contacts.

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