About the Webinar
Farm Credit East hosted a green industry outlook webinar March 18, 2020, presented by Dr. Charlie Hall of Texas A&M University. Dr. Hall presented this economic outlook for the industry during a very uncertain time, as the impact of COVID-19 began to be felt acutely in the U.S. economy.
Following the last economic downturn, the number of nursery and greenhouse growers declined by roughly 16%. This more closely aligned production capacity with demand. While sales have increased in the years since, input costs have increased more dramatically, particularly labor costs. This has had a negative effect on green industry profits.
While the economy has been moving forward with modest but positive growth for a record period of time, the current COVID-19 crisis has threatened to impose severe disruption on the U.S. economy as businesses shut down and people isolate. We may already be in a recession, although the data to prove it is not yet available. This health crisis is going to be a big deal for the U.S. economy, which may see a decline of as much as 3% over the next few quarters.
Dr. Hall believes the underlying fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong, and we will see a resurgence in the economy after the virus is brought under control. This could take as little as 6-12 months or could be substantially longer, depending on how things play out.