Weathering the COVID storm, the job economy, and interest rates — a RealAg LIVE! with J.P. Gervais

Episodes:

Today’s LIVE! segment features J.P. Gervais, chief economist with Farm Credit Canada, and our illustrious host Shaun Haney to talk all about farm economics, Canada jobs numbers, and the latest analysis on global trends and interest rates.

Tune in every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 3 pm Eastern on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Twitch, for the latest LIVE! segment

  • Shaun was bare, we mean bear, on the Canadian economy a couple months ago, so was J.P.
  • Recovery? Lead by the fact that there’s been so much gov’t support and money flowing
  • Avgerage wages went up during beginning of pandemic, but only because lowest wages were eliminated from equation
  • Consumer purchases in real-time, consumer spending is up: hot tubs, mountain bikes, RVs
  • Savings rate? Wasn’t good before COVID-19, J.P. suspects it also went up
  • What does the new GDP number tell us, maybe for Q3 or Q4?
  • Last couple of percentage points from where we were at before will be hard to gain back.
  • Mexico’s economy records worst economy since Great Depression? Headlines aren’t all rosy.
  • 1.3 million Canadians unemployed still, lots of uncertainty and economic stress
  • Canadian dollar at 0.76 cents today, oil at $45 per barrel? Weakness in the U.S. dollar? Could be good for our commodity prices, but maybe a disadvantage in export environments
  • Imports decline more than exports decline, if CAD continues to be strong, could support imports
  • Hurricane Laura, crude inventory prices pushed higher in the short term?
  • Markets seem to be way ahead of themselves, ahead of where the economy and the fundamentals are
  • Tiny number of people hold the bulk of the equities in the U.S.
  • Interest rates for putting money in are lousy, but great time for anyone who needs to borrow money
  • Shaun asks a geeky economy question, J.P. answers very smart-like with theorems of welfare and probably a good sound-bite
  • In short, pay attention to distributions of income
  • Farmers and ranchers, from an economic standpoint, what are they cheering for? The crop we have, strong demand overseas
  • Exports in ag are up 14 per cent since February, what we’re selling is in high demand in foreign markets
  • As interest rates have gone done, banks have increased their restrictions? Question from the audience: Will banks look at this COVID period on financial statements and take it into account when it comes to lending qualifications?
  • Protein exports, super critical. Domestic consumption of beef, pork, chicken, need the consumers to have that “jingle in their pockets” in order to purchase those proteins at the grocery store.
  • Ag and Agri-food are not recession-proof, yes we have food security issues but we’re way ahead of the curve. About 0.10-0.11 per dollar is spent on disposable food
  • Still need to iron out kinks at the processing level, but from a commodity perspective we’re doing well, we’ve weathered the storm
  • Wouldn’t want to own an airline right now. J.P. misses travelling and having those frank discussions with producers and learning about their operations and knowing their issues
  • Shaun and J.P. bond about being able to travel across the country and being fortunate enough to experience ag through so many different lenses

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