Economic Outlook

An economic outlook plays an important role in forming expectations about the potential state of an economy. Using historical data and trends of key economic variables and indices, combined with any current policy or geopolitical events, allow informed forecasts about the economy.

Outlooks are usually focused on a particular economy such as the North Carolina economy, the U.S. agricultural economy, or the U.S. and North Carolina Row crops economy.  The information conveyed in an outlook with respect to forward looking statements should be considered as the presenter’s best “guestimate” of the future given all the information on hand at that point in time.

Predicting the Economic Future

No individual no matter how talented can perfectly predict the economic future and so these statements can often miss the mark and so it is important that consumers take this uncertainty into consideration. As new information comes to light this may also impact the outlook.  An outlook has a limited shelf life of a few months or quarters or when a very significant event occurs.

North Carolina Economic Outlook Series
NC Economic Outlook, 3rd Quarter 2021

Outreach Materials

As new information becomes available, such as monthly or quarterly economic reports, then these need to be taken into consideration.  In the outreach materials in this section you will find various outlooks that reflect recent presentations about important economies.

Tobacco & Peanuts: Blake Brown, November 2021

Dairy Outlook: Brittany Whitmire, November 2021

Agricultural Labor Outlook: Alejandro Gutierrez-Li, November 2021

Regional Development

Economists in ARE address various dimensions of regional developments such as the importance and role of infrastructure in regional development, local public finance, and solid waste management. Broadband infrastructure and its benefits have been addressed by Ivan Kandilov with other colleagues.

Much work has been done by Mike Walden on the diverging fortunes of regions across NC and their causes. Walden also provides various outlooks for the NC economy and its regional composition.

Developing an Outlook Talk

This page with publications and databases made available (below) is intended to give to Southern Region Extension personnel the tools with which to develop an “outlook talk.” An outlook talk is a presentation that gives farmers and other interested parties information about agricultural commodities’ and agriculture-related products’ demand and supply conditions in the near future. It is not intended to be a crystal ball, but rather a comprehensive look at the trends that might influence demand or supply, thus affecting prices and production. The manual follows along with a set of slides used in several outlook talks in the spring of 2008. To facilitate learning current databases used to create charts and figures are also made available for download below.

Educational Materials

Manual: Developing an Outlook Talk: Lessons in Demand and Supply
Sample: U.S. Corn, Soybean and Wheat Situation and Outlook for 2008/08
Risk Management Strategies
Southeast Grain Marketing Handbook