growers have slightly less faith in the future

Mood index growers remains historically high

The faith horticulture businesses have, was adjusted down in the fourth quarter: the Agro Vertrouwensindex decreased by over 2 points. Both the current mood index and the index of the expectations for the next 2 to 3 years has decreased slightly.

Since the end of 2014 the mood index has steadily risen. Since the second quarter of 2017 it now seem to be stabilising. The mood index, which indicates the current situation at the company, only decreased by a limited amount. Results in the fourth quarter of 2017 indicate that the index decreased by 1.5 points. There are still more entrepreneurs who have a positive judgement than entrepreneurs who judge the current company situation negatively. The index therefore remains positive and, historically, still quite high.

Conjuncture index
The conjecture index, which allowed entrepreneurs to look back 12 months, did rise (+2 points) but remains negative. More business people are negative about the last 12 months than positive. The index is at -5 points after the fourth quarter. The yield prices, turnover and profit are estimated to be more positive than in the third quarter, but they are still generally negative. The production in the fourth quarter of 2017 contributed positively to the company situation of the last 12 months and is stable. The costs are judged more negatively.

Future expectation
The faith entrepreneurs have in their company situation on the medium to long term (future expectation) has decreased by almost 3 points. After four measurements in which the index swung around 20 points, the index dropped by seven points in the second quarter of 2017. Now the index has decreased further and is at the lowest level since the third quarter of 2013 at 11 points. 

The entrepreneurs remain cautious about the coming 12 months. There are still almost as many entrepreneurs with negative expectations as those with positive expectations. Yet the index rose slightly because underlying factors like yield price, cost, turnover profit and production were all judged more positively. This divide was minimal compared to the previous question which asked entrepreneurs about the third quarter of 2017.

Source: Agrimatie Wageningen Economic Research.

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