Bright Spots in the Troubled Economy

Despite unfavorable economic news seemingly coming in daily as of late, there are a few bright spots in the US economy. Not that these bright spots assure us of a rapid turnaround for the struggling economy, but they do remind us that a recovery, as sluggish as it has been so far, is indeed a recovery.

US agriculture has remained relatively unaffected by the turmoil that has dragged down almost every other industry in the country. Prices continue to soar on everything from meats to grains, mostly caused by increasing demand from international markets.

American farmers will have exported more than $107 billion worth of agricultural products by the time the fiscal year ends September 30th. That’s the second highest total of American agricultural exports ever, behind 2008’s record of $115 billion. A larger portion of US exports go to Asia, especially China, who is expected to pass Mexico next year as the second largest foreign buyer of American farm products, behind Canada.

Agriculture, however, can only take the overall economy so far, as it makes up a very small portion of the overall economy. But it is definitely a bright spot, and should continue to be, as demand for farm products continues to soar in China and other overseas markets.

Another positive sign for the economy comes in the form of increased corporate buying in recent months. Last month was the busiest August ever for worldwide mergers and acquisitions, with $286 billion worth of deals completed in the month. It was also the highest one-month total since July 2008. With the end of the fiscal year just three weeks away, the total value of global hostile bids to date is at $134 billion, an increase of 26.5 percent over last year.